Life is full of changes, in fact, I was recently talking with someone and we were discussing how change is the only actual constant thing in life.  In a world where there is absolutely no guarantee of anything, change is one of the few things you can rely on as being a certainty.  Myself included, however not so much anymore, but many people have a great fear of change.  Often because of its association with the fear of the unknown and being out of control, change can be what pushes us to the edge and really forces us to see what we’re made of. 

             Since coming to SafeHope Home, my life has changed in more ways than I can begin to tell you.  I’ve come a long way on my journey of recovery, developed so many new and supportive relationships, gained belongings I thought I had lost forever, learned valuable skills and healed wounds that I thought would’ve affected me forever.  As of the beginning of March, I have been here for two years and I am not the same person who walked through these doors back then. 

             All of that being said, I have now reached a point in my journey where I am transitioning into independence and will be leaving the residential home at SafeHope.  There are a lot of feelings attached to that statement.  I am beyond grateful for the time I have spent here and am very excited about the opportunity to put all the skills I have learned to use in my own life.  This is a large move and going from a situation with roommates to having my own place is going to be different.  I was speaking with the girls today and it’s going to be a big change for all of us.  We were arguing about who was going to miss who more, but that’s what happens when you become such a huge part of each other’s lives.  I have been so honoured to be able to be in a position to support the girls here and be the best kind of role model I can. 

             On the flip side of this, I know how different it is going to be going back out into the world in the midst of COVID.  The last time I was out in the ‘real world’, COVID wasn’t even a thought or idea of something that could potentially happen. Even in the year prior to COVID, I had a lot of stuff going on that I was working through, so I didn’t go out into the community much then either.  Of course, I am going to take absolutely every precaution possible to stay safe and healthy and am so fortunate to have the opportunity to get vaccinated, so thankfully I have that on my side. 

             It has been such an exciting process being able to plan out how I want my own space to look.  The last time I was living on my own I had a place that was so small it could barely be considered a room.  Just with a counter that had a sink with a microwave on it to justify a ‘kitchen area’.  Now, my bedroom is bright, spacious and has a walk-in closet! Although my budget isn’t massive by any means, I get to pick the furniture that I want that I know I’m going to be comfortable with and love.  Speaking of my old place, however, there are some challenges that I am worried about being on my own again. 

             Now, I am completely confident in my ability to live successfully on my own; however, due to some of the past experiences I’ve had, I have a pretty intense fear of my apartment being broken into.  Thankfully, when I’m thinking logically, I know that, especially with how long it’s been since anything has happened, no one is going to be looking for me, especially where I am moving to.  No one is actually going to break into my place, and I was careful enough to choose a building in a good area with good security.  With how far I have come, these are things that I not only value, but that I am capable of doing now.  I’m able to take precautions to keep myself safe and ensure nothing happens. I’m able to look into options for security systems, I’m able to take actions and make decisions that don’t put me or my safety at risk.

             This whole process of finding a place and signing a lease and doing everything properly, rather than in a rush or through a third party or in a sketchy way because something happened has been so important and a really big milestone. Am I excited about having to pay more bills now? Definitely not, but what this is, is another way that I’m taking responsibility and accountability in my own life. There were so many important life ‘steps’/ milestones that I missed out with everything that was going on with me over the years, which is why I value this experience so much more.

             Like everything else in the world, this is going to be a process, and there are going to be a lot of kinks to work out along the way.  I know there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, but I also know that everything is going to be okay.  I have the supports and resources in place to be successful and not go back to the way I was living which I definitely don’t take for granted.  I wouldn’t trade my past 2 years here for anything and I can’t wait to see what the future looks like. I guess that’s something we’ll find out together.