Finding Strength and Recovery in Her Community: Emma’s Story

Emma struggled with substance use and mental health challenges before finding a supportive community at LOFT’s Ingles House.

Emma got sober shortly before the start of the pandemic. As fear and isolation became the norm, it was important for her to find a supportive place where she could continue to work towards her life goals.

“Getting sober is hard enough as it is,” Emma explains. “Doing it during a pandemic, when isolation is forced on you, is an added challenge. I felt as though I was physically, but not mentally, sober.”

Emma now lives and receives recovery services in the structured, supportive environment of LOFT’s Ingles House. The program provides counselling and life skills, encouraging young women to build relationships, link with community resources, and prepare for education and employment.

At Ingles House since September of 2020, Emma has also had the opportunity to address her mental health. “Being honest with my primary worker about my personal struggles has opened up a world of support for me,” she says. “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) groups, art therapy, and mindfulness programs are some of the many activities that encourage me to continue rebuilding my life,” Emma explains. “I have even gained the courage and determination to go back to school and become a social worker.”

Housing and a structured environment are key factors to Emma’s successful experience at LOFT. “I am so grateful to have a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in,” she says. “The team at Ingles supports us by providing us with a structure of living that consists of day programming, chores and tending to our recovery. This discipline has allowed me to create a new foundation on which to maintain my sobriety, and to live a healthy life in general.”

“It was definitely a challenge adjusting to this new way of life, but I know that I would’ve relapsed if I hadn’t moved to Ingles,” Emma continues. “I’m also grateful that the recovery community has transitioned to virtual meetings, as maintaining their fellowship has helped me.”

When asked about what she enjoys most about living at Ingles House, Emma’s answer is clear: community. “There is a sense of comradery between clients and staff,” she says. “The opposite of addiction isn’t just sobriety, but connection as well. The friendships and bonds that I’ve been lucky enough to create at Ingles House have benefited me greatly. They’ve given me confidence and a strong sense of belonging, which I used to lack. I know that if I hadn’t moved to Ingles and I had stayed at my apartment, I would’ve relapsed.”