This morning we celebrate the life of Jamie who passed away last week. The following article was published in the Lighthouse Newsletter in June. Jaime maintained her sobriety till the end of her life and was proud to celebrate 15 months sober at the Lighthouse.
Born and raised in Kindersley, Jamie left home at seventeen to travel the world. She has visited over ten countries in her life and lived in California for fifteen years.
After a year in Europe, where she spent time in France, England, Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, Jaime lived in New York for six months. From there she returned to Canada and lived in Toronto and Vancouver briefly. She then toured Mexico in a VW camper van with her first husband, and eventually found her way to San Diego and Los Angeles.
“I’m a Sagittarian. Sagittarians are travelers early on and then later on in our lives we settle down,” says Jamie. True to her sign, she has been in Saskatoon for the last ten years.
Jamie now lives in the Complex Needs Wing of the Lighthouse and has her own apartment with a bathroom and shower. “They’re treating me really well,” says Jamie, “they look after my meds. I’m schizo effective bi-polar, so I’m on medication for my mind and I’m on methadone for treating my drug habit.”
Although Jamie loved to travel, it was in San Diego that she began to use heroin. Her addiction quickly spiraled into a $1000 a day drug habit, “It was hard for me coming up with that money every day,” she recalls.
Eventually she discovered the wonders of methadone and it’s kept her off heroin for thirteen years. Unfortunately, her addiction was much harder to beat, “I knew what it was like to kick the heroin habit, but oftentimes you replace one habit with another habit.” Jamie replaced heroin with crystal methamphetamine and cocaine, and her addiction persisted until she found The Lighthouse.
Jamie is proud to say that since she’s been living at The Lighthouse she has been clean of all substances. It’s been seven months, and she describes her sobriety as a relief. “Things are more in perspective now,” says Jamie, “I wake up in the morning and I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get my drugs.”
Looking back, Jamie credits The Lighthouse as the reason she’s clean now, “I think that when I started being here it rubbed off on me, the attitude about not using drugs anymore.”
Her life has changed a lot since moving into her own apartment. She can come and go as she pleases, spend time with her friends and attend Recovery Group, where she talks about her struggle with addiction, “Thirty nine years I had a needle in my arm. Thirty nine years. So I’m proud of myself for not doing that anymore.”
–Written by Paige Goodman
Jaime spoke at least 3 languages, was a musician and a hair dresser at one time. Among other traditional hymns at her funeral, the Recessional was Thank You for the Music by ABBA. Jaime had such a positive personality and greeted everyone with a smile and a chat. She made everyone feel good ‘down to the tips of their toes’. She will be missed.