Christine Mason smiling towards the camera at the Terrace Arena. (Photo courtesy of Christine Mason)

Christine Mason smiling towards the camera at the Terrace Arena. (Photo courtesy of Christine Mason)

Local woman starts sobriety support group for Terrace

The group will be open to anyone and will not rely on pre-existing sobriety frameworks

Christine Mason is taking her first steps towards the establishment of a Terrace sobriety support group.

Her goal for the group is to be entirely independent from existing recovery groups, many of which are based upon religious framework. Mason is of the Nisga’a First Nation, and she intends for this to be a space unaffiliated with any race, religion, or creed. Though her personal experience is with alcoholism, she wants to include anyone suffering from any kind of addiction.

“It’s not about whether you’re native or non-native, it’s not about whether you’re Christian it’s about recovery. It’s about staying sober today, staying clean today, it’s about not going to gamble today,” said Mason.

Mason’s drive to create a community support group came out of one difficult moment. In her efforts to help a family member through a deeply painful moment, Mason briefly had to move a bottle of Crown Royal out of her way. In that instant, she felt how close she was to relapsing.

“In that nanosecond, when I took that bottle of Crown Royal and handed it off to my son to get him to dump it out, all I could think was ‘take a drink,’” said Mason. “It happened so quick and it came on so strong. It didn’t matter that my children were standing there, and that my grandchildren were there, and it didn’t matter to me, the devastation that it would have for them.”

Mason now wants to help fill the gap she sees in Terrace’s addiction care.

She has found success with peer support throughout her 35 years of sobriety, and says that there are many programs that helped her while she was living in Vancouver. Her drive to facilitate peer support in Terrace is as much about maintaining her own sobriety as it is about providing that support to others in her home town.

“I knew I needed one,” said Mason. “I have other options available to me, I have the tools and I have the skills. But in that moment, I needed another person in recovery. I didn’t need my therapist, I didn’t need my counsellor.”

“I can go into a room and tell them something about my drinking that I think is funny, but they’ll look at me like, ‘how can you say that?’ But I can sit with a roomful of other alcoholics, or people in recovery, and say the same thing and we’ll just bust a gut. Because we can relate to each other.”

That shared experience with other people in recovery is what Mason aims to build, but she’s still in the early stages. Thus far, she has been seeking a location to host meetings, and speaking about her experiences with community groups online. She’s feeling encouraged by the response so far.

“I did this post on the Terrace community page, and you know, there’s a lot of keyboard warriors out there, lots of negativity. But I have received nothing but support. I have not heard or seen one remark about how this is a bad thing,” said Mason.

“I’ve got support from my family, from my friends. I’ve gotten support from community agencies, different outreach programs they have here. I’ve gotten words of support from Terrace Community Council. I don’t even know these people, and I’ve started meeting all kinds of people who are on board and who say, ‘yes, we need this. And you are the one to do it.’ I don’t know why I’m the one to do it, because I don’t really know what I’m doing. I just know what I need.”

For anyone looking to get involved with the project, to lend a hand or to seek support, you can reach Mason at

addictionsCommunity Leadership

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