Mark and I had set off on what looked like a misty but promising morning with a miscellany of people’s unwanted items in the back of the van. We had to call at Michelle’s to collect more of the same. I knew there were a couple of bags already at Todmorden that Lisa Stocks had donated. This made a decent collection of bric a brac and one that hopefully had a wide range of goods.
Dear Alcohol and Drugs
The first time we met I was thirteen, I got put in an ambulance and had my stomach pumped but that didn’t stop me from wanting you again.
You made me feel so confident and fearless, I would have the courage to talk to people and do things that I couldn’t do when I was sober.
You helped me in getting the name “wild child”, I did crazy things and people laughed and I thought it was good at first.
I stood up to people; I wasn’t scared of getting hurt.
I had a good social life and was always at parties.
But it wasn’t always like that though, I was sat on my own in my empty house attempting suicide at the end of it.
I lost my son; my family couldn’t stand to see me in the state that I was in.
I wasn’t me anymore; Karla had gone, I was just a shell.
You stripped me of everything that means anything to me, you came before anything – you were always put first.
I was obsessed with you even though you were causing me great pain.
I never ever want to feel that way ever again.
The pain inside was unbearable, enough for me to feel like there was no way out other than to end my life because I couldn’t go on the way I was and never saw myself being able to let go of you.
Today I have been without you for eight months and my life has changed dramatically.
The day dreams that I had are starting to come true. I’m not going to say that everything was your fault, not everybody who drinks and drugs turns out the way that I did.
I don’t have an off button, I am an addict and today come to terms with that and made the decision to not have you in my life any more.
Today I have no room in my life for you, I have my recovery and I have my son and I am happier than I have been in years.
I’M DONE WITH YOU, YOU DON’T CONTROL ME ANYMORE.
Article featured in RecoveryTimes issue 8
I first came to TBRP @ The Corner 12 months ago with more than my fare share of issues; I was drinking too much, I had problems with my kidneys, under active thyroid, high blood pressure, chronic back pain, depression and to top it all I was feeling really alone and lost.
Having spent much of our lives in the depths of addiction, we are quite used to getting a lecture or two. So when we were approached by University of Huddersfield to actually deliver one, panic set in. After all, what do we know about addiction? I guessed being “experts by experience” we might have enough knowledge to fill a couple of hours speaking at the award winning University so agreed to drag along a few ‘recoverees’. Here is an account of the day, from Nicola…
I met Cath a couple of months after moving to Burnley. I’d done what they call ‘a geographical’. I thought leaving my drug using friends and family in Scotland would solve all my problems. To be fair, in a way it did. Well, for about two years.
Now into its 6th year we interview The Basement Recovery Project CEO, Michelle Foster.
In her busy schedule, Richard managed to grab five minutes with Michelle to find out how it all started:
The Basement Project started as a service user group in 2006 with Stuart Honor. At the time I was volunteering with Lifeline, SMS and Probation and I was doing it because I was on sabbatical from university. I got involved with Calderdale User Forum at Christmas 2006 because we used to do Christmas dinners and I just thought ‘that’s where I need to be really.
In some ways I suppose my story’s quite unremarkable but also slightly different than a lot of people’s I’ve met.
I wasn’t trapped in the madness for a long period of time, but over the years I dipped in and out and did spend months at a time in a terrible place. And though knowing what I know now about addiction I realise I have displayed addictive behaviours since I was a child, in later life I didn’t really drink to run away from anything or to seek oblivion (even though some childhood traumas have affected my life in lots of ways); I did however drink to increase my confidence and reduce my shyness.
Following the success of Freedom House, which began in 2010, TBRP are pleased to announce the addition of a second home for people suffering from addictions.
Freedom House Therapeutic Community is an abstinence-based residential centre based in Calderdale. TBRP has provided 24/7 support by people in recovery, offering a peer-to peer package of care to over 15 people, many of whom are now in employment, managing their own homes and rebuilding family relationships. For some people, the lived-experience is essential for sustained sobriety and Freedom House provides a solid foundation for recovery.
TBRP have recently been awarded some funds through the ‘Grants for Health’ scheme and the Community Foundation for Calderdale.
This generous award has provided disabled access facilities and a clinical room to extend the access for more people to address their lifestyle behaviour, beyond that of their substance/alcohol issues.
I took a call from a friend in December, who had been contacted by the desperate mother of a 43-year-old daughter. The daughter, who we’ll call Rachel, had been out of a residential rehab for a couple of weeks and was back in a full-blown alcoholic episode, drinking around the clock and falling in and out of taxis and in and out of hospital.