Willi Is No Longer Alone

willi
Willi is a 67 year old woman that lives in the Oaks Supportive Living program.  Willi is also a self admitted alcoholic.  Willi grew up in Ottawa as a kid with both parents and her six siblings.  Willi’s family struggled to make ends meet as she came from such a large family with many mouths to feed.  At the time, she didn’t realize her family was living at the poverty level and states “I thought everybody lived that way”.

There was no substance abuse in Willi’s family when she was growing up and she attended both English and Dutch church services every Sunday.

Willi left home at 18 years of age, got married and had two children.  The marriage started to fail and Willi and her husband soon separated. Willi met another man when she was in her early 30s and her new partner “wined and dined her and swept her off her feet”.  This is when Willi was first introduced to alcohol as her new partner was a heavy drinker.  Willi thought drinking was “cool” as all the movie stars seemed to have drinks in their hands often.  Her relationship with this man came to an end when Willi realized that his drinking was obsessive and that it was affecting her.

During this time Willi was an employee for Canada Post and drank daily after her work day.  This is when Willi first realized she could not stop drinking herself.  Willi isolated herself after work and called for alcohol to be delivered every night.  Willi became a “closet drinker” and her siblings were unaware of the alcoholism as it began to spiral.

Willi took a buyout from Canada Post at the age of 48 and continued to isolate herself and drink daily.  Willi describes this as “a very lonely and dark time in her life”.  Willi’s overall health started to fail due to malnutrition as she was not eating regularly.  Willi was finally able to confide her drinking habits to her family doctor who recommended the Managed Alcohol Program to her.

IMG_0005Willi has noticed many improvements since joining MAP and no longer feels isolated as she has people around to converse with anytime she wishes.  Willi’s overall health has improved as she now eats three meals per day and a bedtime snack.  Willi’s alcohol intake has dropped drastically as it is now monitored and controlled by the staff at the Oaks under the care of Ottawa Inner City Health and the medical team.

Today Willi is ecstatic as she is a first time grandmother.  She is very happy living at the Oaks and no longer feels the loneliness she felt so much in the past.  Willi is a “gentle soul” and a very valued member of the Oaks community.  When Willi discusses her alcoholism today she states “I thought it was a social thing until it was too late”.  Please help us to help more people like Willi.  You can make a very positive difference in the lives of those that have so little and need so much.

To make a donation to help those like Willi, please click here.