Rebuilding lives through recreation
One can easily over-estimate the power of recreation. However, recreational activities can build a sense of community, a sense of belonging and a way to get away from one’s worries. The latter is especially true of Jocelyn, whose story illustrates the power of these activities, which helped her escape a life of addiction.
From a young age, Jocelyn had a difficult upbringing being raised by her mom who was a schizophrenic. To prevent her from running away all the time, her mom sent her to reform school. There, she fell into the wrong crowd and turned to drugs to fit in. Later, she also turned to drinking.
Eventually, in her adulthood, she started volunteering to cook at a drop-in centre in Vancouver. These activities started to change her life for the better.
“What a waste of money, what a waste of life (the drugs and alcohol were). It really started to click with me,” she says.
Then, one fateful day, Jocelyn was reunited with one of her two daughters who had been looking for her for the past 14 years. From then on, Jocelyn said goodbye to her addictions for good.
Today, Jocelyn comes to The Mustard Seed in Edmonton to access the food bank, coffee drop in, and Community Support Centre, which has clothing and personal items. The Mustard Seed is pleased to offer those like her the opportunity to participate in recreational evenings throughout the week, focusing on art, sewing, baseball, gardening and more. Often these activities provide an escape from a life of addiction and hardship.
Jocelyn looks forward to working as a cook in a restaurant someday.
As she says, “You just got to stay positive.”