Keeping What You’ve Got by Giving it Away

After years of drug and alcohol abuse running concurrently with a life of children and chores, Vikki finally sought help when a psychedelic drug left her mind in a cognitive quandary.

In March last year, the mother-of-three tried the hallucinogenic drug 2CB for the first time. She was left feeling paranoid – hearing voices in her head.

“For a long time, the world did not seem real; it was more like a Sims computer game”

Vikki started smoking weed when she was 13. From there it led to other drugs – Mkat, cocaine and ecstasy at the weekends.

“I felt as though I had the drugs in control as it would just be over the weekends, though I drank every day – two bottles of Martini and a bottle of red wine. Feeling ‘normal’ felt abnormal; drink made me feel my norm.”

“I managed to keep some kind of control over life – I’d get my children to school; they were fed and bathed but I wasn’t giving them the full attention they deserved – at the time, they were more of a hindrance on the life I wanted – though I never really knew what it was that I wanted.”

Vicky-New131Vikki moved in and out of violent relationships and sought safety in a woman’s refuge which was unable to give the intensive group treatment she needed, eventually she found The Basement Recovery Project (TBRP).

“The mutual aid group sessions and the Recovery Programme itself at TBRP have been crucial to my recovery as I feel so involved in the centre.”

Vikki now volunteers at TBRP’s Breakfast Club every Tuesday and Thursday and as ‘Events Coordinator’, gets involved in running many of the social activities – an on-going element to one’s recovery; networking with other like-minded people.
Vikki said her family life has improved in leaps and bounds and now she gets pleasure from giving her children quality care – reading bedtime stories and playing – the ‘normal’ things people take for granted. She said “I was scared to get help for a long time as I thought my kids would be taken away from me – but that wasn’t the case. Parents with active addictions should have more confidence in coming forward – there is help. The Basement Recovery Project has saved my life and I feel that more people should know about what they do.”

Vikki was recently featured on Cherry Healey’s BBC3 programme, ‘Old Before My Time’ where she talks about addiction and the consequent health issues. “I offered to help and go on camera if it meant that someone else could learn more about addiction and not be afraid to ask for help. For me it’s all about passing the message on, but it’s also about having fun in recovery. I thought stopping using would be boring. How can you enjoy yourself without drink or drugs? Well, I show that you can. I’m passionate about recovery and want other people to get it. It feels natural to want to give something back, and I find the old saying “you can only keep what you’ve got by giving it away” very apt.

Article featured in RecoveryTimes issue  6