"I don't know where I'd be without Avalon."
When Rebecca B. walked into her first meeting at an Avalon Women’s Centre, she couldn’t believe the welcome she received.
“The atmosphere was so relaxing, so inviting. These women were so kind to me, and they were genuinely excited that I was there,” she says.
A single mom, Rebecca, had been using drugs and alcohol to cope with the fear and anxiety she felt every day. She knew she was stuck in her addiction, but she couldn’t move forward by herself - she needed help from others who had been there.
“Before I came into recovery, I didn’t really trust women. I grew up in a household full of men, so there wasn’t a whole lot of openness about what it was like to be a girl,” says Rebecca. At Avalon, she found love, support, and a safe place to talk with other women about the issues that affected her.
“Avalon unfolded a whole world for myself and my daughter to be surrounded by women who are supportive, loving and psychologically strong.”
Rebecca attended regular meetings, bringing her young daughter with her to be looked after by Avalon’s free childminding services. Slowly but surely, Rebecca learned how to face her challenges and live a life free from addiction. “Avalon helped me become teachable,” she says. “I learned coping skills and a new way of living that no longer involved drugs or alcohol.”
As she deepened her recovery, Rebecca began to give back to the Avalon community. She took on the role of childminder at an Avalon Women’s Centre, started chairing meetings, and helped guide newcomers through their recovery journeys.
“It’s fulfilling to know that all the mistakes and errors of my ways while in active addiction, those stories can help another suffering alcoholic,” she says. “It took me too many bottoms to discover that I needed help from people who have been where I’ve been.”
Today, six years after stepping foot into that first meeting, Rebecca is studying chemistry with the hopes of becoming a veterinary technician.
“I don’t know where I’d be without Avalon,” she says. “We get told we’re stupid and not worth the effort, and over my lifetime I began to believe it. Thanks to Avalon, I no longer believe that and hold myself to such a low standard. I can achieve what I love to do.”
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has turned life on its head for Rebecca and so many others, she’s grateful that she has been able to stay connected to Avalon through virtual means. “I call it Avalon without borders!” she laughs. “The social apparatus is still there because I can log into telephone chats from a safe distance.”
Rebecca continues to chair a weekly meeting and has been able to access other Avalon support meetings that she wouldn’t normally attend - thanks to the flexibility of doing so remotely. For her, the “program has deepened and grown” during this time.
We realize that now, many women are no longer able to meet in person, so we had to discover new ways to provide support to those who are not able to join us physically in our centres. Changes we have made include providing safe and secure access to meetings and support services virtually, via social media, and through other physically distant-appropriate measures. In order to keep our doors open, we know the importance of having a safe, clean environment for the women to come to. This of course has resulted in a significant increase in costs due to the need of PPE and cleaning supplies – ensuring the centres are always as clean as possible and that physical distancing measures are adhered to.
This has forever broadened how we think of what we want to accomplish at Avalon and it has expanded our reach to women that we were not able to support before. It’s an exciting time as we work together through these unprecedented times to continue to find new ways to create a community for women seeking freedom from addiction, empowering them to thrive! Your support is crucial in helping us keep up with demand.
Thanks to the support of our donors, Avalon can provide vital addiction services to women like Rebecca, even in the midst of a global crisis. The generosity of our community allows us to offer connection, support, and hope, helping put women on the path to a better life.
We rely on the generosity of our donors to provide addiction support services to women like Rebecca...one day at a time.
If you're in a financial position where you can contribute to our mission, please make your tax-deductible donation today.
We appreciate and value your loyalty, dedication, and leadership in support of Avalon Recovery Society, our mission, and, especially, the women of Avalon. THANK YOU!