I’ve made it through 2 weeks of laughs, tears, confusion and awakenings at HU; it’s gone by so quickly! And I’ve done it along side some pretty amazing individuals. So I wanted to take a moment and recap some of the experiences I’ve had with my peers. (Always confidential as usual).

I’ve become a professional mover. Sigh. I hate moving. But with patients cycling through the doors of HU on a regular basis, it’s not out of the ordinary to have to move rooms from time to time. But I have moved 5 times in two weeks 😦 It’s not a complicated procedure but it definitely affects my level of comfort here…being that I haven’t quite found it fully. It’s not the staff’s fault. Sadly I’ve been colliding with some severe rule-breaking occurrences making my habitat ‘not available’ for some time. So seeing my sorry-self wheel my few belongings down the halls of HU is now a comical event.- “There she goes again!” People have wanted to take pictures of my sad little hobo state…but alas, that is not allowed.

Did I mention that the people here are amazing! It’s one big family. Cliche?…Yes. But it’s true! We all form an intricate web of support, kindness and understanding. Simply put, we all just get it! One guy in my group rightfully described the atmosphere here as ‘disgustingly happy’. We welcome new-comers like they are our baby birds. We reassure them that their wings will heal, if they trust the process. We understand perfectly what each other is feeling because all of us have crash landed here too. When it was us walking through the doors for the first time, lost and scared, we had that special person pick us up and fix our wings, so it’s only natural we return the favour. Everyone smiles and says hello and there are no cliques. When it’s time to eat you don’t need to search for ‘your table’ like in high school. Thank God!  You literally walk to an empty seat and sit down – just like that!  Everyone will start talking to you instantly. Questions like, “What’s your DOC (drug of choice)?” “How many weeks have you been here?” “How do you like it?” always gets the ball rolling easily. It’s probably the least judgmental place on earth! We all feel safe…and we say it often.

We divulge some unbelievably painful personal information in group which not surprisingly solidifies peer connections even more. We learn about each others deep down, blood curdling pain. We cry with each other until our eyes burn, and encourage perseverance when you can tell the person can barely go any further. We know those tears will heal us. We know we’re not alone. And we know our secrets are safe.

On a happier note. We have some super-intense hockey rivalries going on here. 🙂 People from across Canada wear their team’s jerseys up and down the halls showing undying dedication to their hometown city (even Toronto…lol. I love the Leafs! Don’t send me hate mail 🙂 ) It’s an amazingly diverse community here at HU. Oh, and if you want some candy to munch on during the game, you’re in luck! We deal chocolate bars and sour keys out of duffel bags and side-drawers like…well…you know.

Do you want to learn how to knit? Play dominoes? Cranium? Well you’re in luck! Because at HU somebody nearby would love teach you! Who needs drugs and alcohol when you can have a heart-pounding game of checkers! Am I right? OK, so I may not be knitting my Christmas socks yet…but on a serious note, these things are actually pretty fun with the people here. Who knew? Not in a million years did I think I would be sitting in a greenhouse planting cacti with a bunch of addicts. Or showing my neighbour how to use a glue-gun on his Christmas ornament at 2 o’clock in the afternoon…sober.

All-in-all it’s pretty amazing here. And I can even say that through burning eyes as I had a pretty gut-wrenching session today. If I have to be away from my family and friends I will take being with this gang any day!