Welcome to Thrive’s Blog! 

Part of our values at Thrive is to ensure the participants we work with and provide support to have the opportunity to share their voices, stories, and thoughts in a non-exploitative manner. We hope that this blog, updated quarterly, will give you the opportunity to learn more about the individuals who engage with our programming on their terms.


Title –  “Anonymous”

Content Warning  – addictions, self injury, street substance, mental health

Sometimes I struggle with words and writing, and art helps me express myself when I can’t find the words.

[I created these] when my PTSD was really bad, and I was having a lot of flashbacks while trying to get off coke.

Creating these pieces helped me stay grounded during these times. It kept my hands busy and stopped me from cutting and drugs.

These pieces remind me of different moods. The first three remind me of a drug-based euphoria. The grey piece was when I was getting off the coke with the support of my friend. The grey face on the right represents mental health and the one on the left represents addiction. The lines represent spiraling.


Advantages and Disadvantages to a “Child free” Lifestyle

Maggie Dwyer

To have or to not have kids? It is one of the biggest decisions to make in life. There are many
advantages and disadvantages to a “child free” lifestyle. Some advantages are having free time
with just yourself and keeping your paycheck, and some disadvantages are not getting to
create your own family, or knowing the feeling of unconditional love that children bring.

Choosing a child free lifestyle has tons of advantages.Many of which would be appealing
to a very independent person. First pro of this list is you beat pregnancy! No morning sickness,
no weight gain and no pain of labour. Your body is yours and you do not need to share it. You
also are your main focus with no one to look after. You are your own boss. For example, if you
want to pack up and go on a road trip with your best friends you could do so without question. A
big plus is, aside from all your bills you pay, whatever is left is yours. There is no ridiculous
amount of money spent on diapers, formula, clothes and everything else a tiny human needs to
live. Children are not cheap!

Disadvantages come with anything in life, just like not having kids. It’s something you
truly do not understand until it happens to you. Everyone can experience love, but the love you
feel after starting a family of your own is something incomparable to anything else. You grow a
lot as a parent, more than you’ll ever grow if you do not have kids. The joy that comes with
watching them learn and grow is amazing and the most rewarding job in the world. So yes, they
will drain your bank account and cancel your “girls night” plans. Is it worth it to you? For some,
living a childless life can cause depression and loneliness particularly once you are in the
elderly years. Without kids there is no legacy and no family name.

I am forever blessed to have my daughter and watch her learn, grow, play and love. That
being said, it isn’t always easy. I struggle sometimes with my own independance and with my
finances. I am doing my best. Motherhood has helped me look at myself in a different light and
have a new appreciation. Pros and cons come with anything in life,especially like the decision to
have kids. This is a very personal and intimate decision to make that really isn’t solely just one
person. Sit with your partner and discuss your own personal advantages and disadvantages. Is
independence something you value? Is money a factor? These are just some questions to ask
yourself when you’re wondering.. to have or to not have kids?


How my life has changed in the last five to ten years.

By Cody Gough

They say “life is what you make it”. Never judge a person by their looks or by the way they act. Everyone has gone through something in their life either good or bad,it’s about how you pick yourself up afterwards. Addiction impacted my relationships,my lifestyle and my health. Everyone’s lives can be changed by either one of those things. 

Addiction has changed my life dramatically in my youth. It has taken so much from me in my life,freedom and even the trust of my loved ones. It made me steal, cheat and hurt so many people in my life. Having two friends’ lives lost to  drug use, from the pain and sorrow of drug addiction. I have gone to prison and lost two and half years of my freedom. I now live my life happy and healthy everyday,so I am very thankful that my life has changed for the better in the last 5 years of my life. 

I have lost and gained friendships in my life. A lot of my friends I used to be around have been bad influences. They were using drugs and even committing crimes. So I knew when my life changed for the better that I needed to get away from those friends. That ment changing my life and meeting new people. They have given me the drive and inspiration to be better and do good things with my life. 

If you looked at me five years ago you would not believe that I was the same person. My health was something that I didn’t take much care of. I have taken my health for granted and done a lot of things that have hurt my body. In the last five years, I have learned to take care of my body and my health, working out, hiking and staying fit. Your health is everything and you should take good care of yourself. 

That is how my life has changed in the last five to ten years. Addiction and bad life choices can ruin your life in many ways. Therefore if you know someone in your life that is going through something then try your best to help them. 


Being Happy While Reflecting On The Past

I believe thinking of the past isn’t always bad as people make it out to be. Reflecting on one’s self can be a nice change of pace when reviewing who we were and how we managed to grow to the present times. This piece is more for my own well-being and it is a time to look into the past and to see how I’ve changed. I’ll be comparing what I was like back in June 2016 to June of 2021. This will be fun writing, so let’s see how I changed over the years.

Today in the beginning of my adult years I’ve come to be more mellowed, down to earth and relaxed than my former self. I am slowly earning my keep in life,as I take on the responsibilities headed my way. I’ll admit I’m more introverted than I should be but, personally I like it this way. I left social-media for personal reasons for the last 4 years. I’ve become more happy and at peace with myself than compared to my bewildered and unknowing teenage self. I am relaxed and content with my life.

Now growing up as a teenanger I’m sure it can be said for many, when I say we are unsure of ourselves and go through phases – like every week. When I look into my past compared to how I am today,  I remember being hyper and social around others. Without knowing how to properly build friendships. I was often blindsided and tended to avoid my life’s upcoming problems. I would not fix situations or go to school classes. I was a naive teenage boy unsure how to build a healthy life for myself.

In comparison, during the transition from teenage to young adult; I’ve toned down into a healthier state of mind and changed who I was. Once a social gathering kid to a more reserved man with few contacts. Though some may say that is unhealthy from what I once was, I’m at peace with it and I think that’s fine. 

We tend to feel embarrassed or ashamed of our younger years but I’m glad I grew to experience the bad and good parts of growing up. Again thinking of the past isn’t always a bad thing,though it may have been troublesome. I’m glad to reflect on my former and present self. I am where I am today because the decisions I’ve made whether it be for the better or worse, that’s a part of growing up. We should just cherish the memories and chuckle in our past and carry on the next day.