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Danijela is a person in long-term recovery – This is part of her story


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If you could share what that was..

The first time?



Yeah,be honest.

Yeah, just what it was, and what it was like, you know, if you could share that with Danijela, like you know, some of the things you were concerned about and what kind of pushed you over the edge to make that call.

Uhm, I’ll share the last time. That’s the freshest in my memory, and that was when I picked up the phone and I called. The first phone call was to an interventionist, that was referred to us by somebody, my God, I can’t, for the life of me, I can’t remember who referred him, I should. And the interventionist, I remember feeling very nervous, very frantic, very scared, and really all over the place. But I remembered just telling myself “Focus, focus on what this people are telling you, focused on what information they’re giving you and just stay in the moment and focus on what’s in hand”. Because if I miss any piece of information, or if I miss any step in this process, I just didn’t wanna mess anything up.

When I found out that we were pulling into that treatment center, I felt a). terrified, coz I knew I was going somewhere I didn’t know where. I was really angry because I felt like I was being dropped off and abandoned like at a psych ward. I had no I idea what treatment was. I didn’t know, the only thing I knew was through the movies. I just remember feeling such shame that if my family knew, that if they knew the real me and what was going on behind the scenes, I’d be done for. So I remember feeling, I remember doing everything I can to hide, hide, hide, and to pretend everything is okay. And I used to think, okay maybe they dont notice, maybe they dont know. And I come to realize later, everybody knows, I’m the last one to know.

I remembered trying to coordinate with Andre,the interventionist,then call Mama and give her an update,then call tata and give them an update, and get them on the same page cause they’re not talking to one another. I would just try to be supportive and try to help you in anyway I could. It just lead to more frustration, and more resenting because things weren’t changing,things weren’t getting better. And we just end up being back in the same point of, you know, fighting or arguing or just distant. We used to have fun and love to spend time with one another, and laugh and joke around, and then it just turn into, it just turned into venomous.

My biggest fear, at, when I came to Into Action, I was just like, I woke, that’s when it hit me. When everything was out of my system I’m gonna lose my family. I already lost my mom, I’m like, I’m gonna lose my brother,I’m gonna lose everything. I thought, at Into Action our relationship is over. Over. I was done. I was so surprised that you and Mama came for family weekend. I mean I was blown away. And then like just,and that was like the biggest gift that I got. And that was my biggest,it’s one of the big key things that keeps me going. I cannot lose my family. I can not. You know, I want tata to have a daughter, I want you to have a sister. You know, I want that unit till now. And now I strive to do everything I can, not the be the person to destroy us.

Brian, can you talk to Danijela about what it was like for you to start, after, I would imagine losing hope in a lot of ways. To start seeing change, that gives you, that instilled some confidence that this could be lasting?
It’s like what, it’s like some of those signs that ” Wow I could maybe have my sister back.” or starting to see some of the things again of like the sister that you used to feel really..

I remember some of the first initial signs, the first time it resonated with me that you are changing and growing was admitting, you know, admitting what you’re problems were but admitting that and owning your problems. One of the things that used to frustrate me and upsets me the most was that whenever something went wrong before was never your fault.


I was always somebody elses fault, and this person and that person. And then, when you started owning your own problems and owning your mistakes and owning your own behavior. I remember I was like taken back like “Wow.” I was like “I’ve never heard those words and I’ve never heard her talk like that”. And I remember even telling mama like “Wow.” I was like “This is different this time” and then that glimmer of hope shined through and I remember feeling,just like a positive good feeling. Then you know, you start, I started reminding myself of all the times before. And of course, you know, me being me, I’m like trying to balance it, I’m like, It’s till early. Don’t go crazy. Don’t ,you know, the world hasn’t changed yet. But I remembered feeling, this is like “Wow”. And we’re really encouraged and happy and happy that you, you realized yourself some of the,some of the basic things around you and your behaviours were result of your own actions.


I remember we used to fight about that when you are using a lot. I remember one time we get to a really bad argument and I told you once you know, “When are you gonna realize that the sum of all your decisions in life lead you to where you are today” and I think that I really hurt you at that time and you got really upset about it. And then hearing you come out and say it yourself, I was absolutely amazed. And then over time, when you were excited about the work you are doing at the center. The work you are doing on yourself, and that you are passinate about not just the center and not about the culture of the center, but passionate about the work you are doing and your accomplishments. And I remember feeling like this huge sense of relief and joy and happiness at the same time like “Wow, she’s changing”,like “This is working”. And I honestly, I never thought I would see that or feel that. And then to see you start growing and evolving and becoming passionate and not,not go taking steps backwards but taking steps forward. I, it was,you know, I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget after family weekend, and going to the, when you first left the center and at the first apartment, and left the house where you were. And after,I knew how hard that was for you to go somewhere and leave the center after being there for the few months you were there. But then seeing you embrace it too, that was, that was huge. The fact that you know, you were ready to take that next step and that you, it was, you didn’t end up running back to the center within a couple of weeks, and you didn’t end up changing your behaviour either was, I thought, that was another huge monumental step. And I think that was also a pivotal point for me, and I’m realizing that “wow, you are changing,and you’re growing”. So those were, those were like the first initial signs, and then from there then on it’s just been, it’s been everyday has just been better and better.

I do wanna say that, gratittude doesn’t even, like that’s, I can’t even use that world. I guess, not giving up hope on me, and having that devotion and keep going like working on the other side of it, I see how hard it is for families. And how hard it is for me to talk to people in active addiction. And then I’ve so much compassin for you now, and I think about you a lot when I’m on the phones. I think about you a lot when I have like family members that are done, are really done. That I would, I’m like “Look you need to do this”,they’re like “We don’t care”. And then I’m filled with like a sense of compassion for you and like devosion that you did not gave up on me, that you did it. Because to go to a treatment for the fourth time and exhaust the family’s resources is,and at the time I didn’t look at it,I didn’t knowno, but I want you to know that I know that resources that you used, I know how hard it was for you and I realize that. And this isn’t even gratitude I’m saying I’m forever devoted to you, you know. And I want you to know that you saved my life, You played a huge part. You were like the chief, that why I wanna do this with you. Not mama not tata,you were the chief and you were the one that didn’t gave up on me. And that to me, is devotion for the rest of my life, it’s not even gratitude. You know, you played the part of me being alive today. And if I’m not alive today, I can’t be alive to help other people and change other people’s lives. So you created in fact a butterfly effect. and that’s because of your love for me, and you didn’t give up on me.

Wow, That’s amazing

I can’t even.


So you’re, I always talk about you. You’re my hero. I remember one time you said that. I know. And I just, I look at you as my hero. You saved my life. And nobody can give a gift, birthday gifts, go to South beach all of that stuff, but to grant somebody and not give up on them, I see families give up on their kids all the time and siblings, and you didn’t. That means the world to me. And I want you to know that. I want you to know how much I’m devoted to you. How much I look up to you. You’re everything to me. And I can tell you, in the future, no guy in the world is ever gonna come,they can’t match up to my brother you know, so it’s not even gratitude it’s devotion.

Thank you.

I’m speechless.

Thank you.

I wanna give him a hug.

I love you so much.

I love you too.

That was awesome.

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