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Tosh’s Story

This is a brief account of Tosh’s relationship with drugs. It’s frank and told in his own words.  Thank you, Tosh, for allowing us to share your story with the wider community and showing that a life without drugs is possible, even for those who never thought it was.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a bad kid. I know there was a time I was happy and normal but that was too long ago. I had an unhappy childhood, I was the second child of five. Dad was a pisshead. I’m really not sure of the why but being unhappy must have played its part…

Allen’s Story

image of Allen from The Basement Recovery Project

If you have been watching Grayson Perry’s ‘Rites of Passage’ on Channel 4, you may have seen Allen featured in episode 4 ‘Coming of Age’.  The programme didn’t have time to explore why people ended up at The Basement Recovery Project and focused on the celebration of recovery.  Allen’s account of his relationship with alcohol is raw, unedited and told in his own words. Thank you, Allen, for allowing us to share your story with the wider community.

Grayson Perry explores coming of age which starts with his visit to the Amazon where he witnesses the Tikuna people celebrate the transition of two girls to adulthood. Thankfully, we don’t do that here and he’s not suggesting we do, but he does think we can take something from it.  He’s even more convinced after talking to London teens and people in recovery at The Basement Project (who he describes as “kidults”) – older people who can’t take responsibility for themselves or their lives.  He sees both groups as reaching the end of one stage of their life and beginning another and wants to mark that in a celebration, something we don’t do enough of in recovery circles.

 

Fiona’s Story

If you have been watching Grayson Perry’s ‘Rites of Passage’ on Channel 4, you may have seen Fiona featured in episode 4 ‘Coming of Age’.

In this episode, Grayson explores coming of age which starts with his visit to the Amazon where he witnesses the Tikuna people celebrate the transition of two girls to adulthood. Thankfully, we don’t do that here and he’s not suggesting we do, but he does think we can take something from it.  He’s even more convinced after talking to London teens and people in recovery at The Basement Project (who he describes as “kidults”) – older people who can’t take responsibility for themselves or their lives.  He sees both groups as reaching the end of one stage of their life and beginning another and wants to mark that in a celebration, something we don’t do enough of in recovery circles.

Fiona’s story briefly touches on the struggles and consequences of addiction and you’ll see why we need to celebrate when we ‘come out the other side’.

 

The Home Run Project – With TBRP

My level of fitness has increased massively and with this, there are the usual benefits; sleeping better, feeling happier, a massive change in my attitude and my overall outlook on life is much brighter. Find out how you can benefit from the Home Run Project, it could be the start to a whole new way of life …

Volunteering with Slow The Flow Calderdale

I’ve just got back from a great walk up Mount Snowdon, alongside 12 friends and the fantastic staff of Activate. At first, when I was asked to do the walk, the usual questions came to the fore – What will I need to wear, can I do it in jeans, etc. The trip was specifically to see the sun setting over Snowdonia…

Snowdon Madness – TBRP Conquers Snowdon

I’ve just got back from a great walk up Mount Snowdon, alongside 12 friends and the fantastic staff of Activate. At first, when I was asked to do the walk, the usual questions came to the fore – What will I need to wear, can I do it in jeans, etc. The trip was specifically to see the sun setting over Snowdonia…

Alcoholism affects the whole family – and so does recovery!

The Basement Recovery Project is and has been an invaluable source of friendship and support not just for my partner as he found his feet in recovery but for the whole family throughout and beyond.

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

Saturday 12th August saw a great plan come together at the Kirklees in Recovery Summer Family Day Event, held at Union Bank in Huddersfield.

The event was organised by the KiR steering committee with the help of many volunteers, family members and Haven. Our aim – to remain close to our constitutional aims and objectives – raising awareness of recovery and helping to reduce the stigma associated with addictions, and of course, to raise a little money along the way.

We had a variety of games and stalls to keep people occupied.  Prizes and food were sourced by our ever-growing community of organisations that support Kirklees in Recovery which made for a great raffle and tombola.

We were also supported on the day by members of Halifax Bank who promised to match fund our first £500.  Gillian really got into the spirit (and swing) of things when she took part in the dance lesson, kindly facilitated by Curly Wurly Dance Studios.

The highlight of the day, of course, was watching the families enjoy themselves, the children (and a few adults) had a ball with Peppa Pig and Iggle Piggle and the various activities on offer.

It was heart-warming to hear one girl say, “I’m looking forward to moving back in with my mum”, knowing that she has her mum back for good.

The feedback from everyone involved was great and we also noticed more of the general public and other communities getting involved.

Our thanks go to everyone who helped, attended and made the day special, we raised a terrific £1400.

Cheque Presentation to Kirklees in Recovery

Of special note, we must thank Halifax Bank, for not only match funding £500 but for also presenting a cheque for £5000 to help develop our planned café at Union Bank.  Plans are well underway and we will bring more news soon.  Our support from the Bank also extended to them helping us to enhance our digital skills, a massive thank you to James Stott.

This is what James had to say about the project:

“I must say on a personal level, I was touched and admired the amazing work you and the volunteers do. You are all genuinely inspiring people and I often read about people’s personal struggles but to see it first hand and hear/see what you do took it to a whole new level. I see situations at work where people react to something as if it is life or death when in fact it is minor in the grand scheme of things but to see the job you do is literally life or death for people puts things into perspective and is something I took away from spending a few hours with you and the team. Genuinely – thank you and great work”.

Thank you, everyone!

Andy McGee
Community Builder

 

 

 

How life changes when you’re in Recovery

A few weeks ago, I went on a weekend trip to Ingleton with friends from Calderdale in Recovery. We were also joined by people from Kirklees in Recovery – which was nice as I got the chance to make new friends. We stayed at a place called ‘Pinecroft’ in a massive log cabin.

It was a beautiful few days away with some lovely people. We were all blessed with some lovely weather which made it even nicer! I had actually been to Pinecroft before (about two years ago when I was quite early into my recovery). I realise now that back then I didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of the nature, the greenery, the waterfalls and the wildlife. This time around, however, I did. This is because whilst being in recovery I have learned to look at the beauty of the things around me in a different way. To appreciate them and to have gratitude.

On Saturday, different groups of people chose to do different things. For me, it was a great day that I will always remember. About ten of us walked to the Ingleton Waterfalls and then walked around them. From start to finish it was fantastic. From walking along and seeing the beauty of the place, eating sandwiches next to the stream and even taking my shoes off and having a paddle, to getting covered in water from a bit of a water fight! It was a good few days in the life of Colin!

Before I came into recovery my weekends would have been so different. I would have spent most of my time isolating indoors. I would only go outside to find ways and means of getting more drugs – like shop lifting or trying to get my sister to give me money. I would never have noticed the beauty of anything around me.

But, thanks to The Basement Recovery Project and Calderdale in Recovery, I no longer need to live that life and now I have the opportunity to take part in lots of different activities that I would never have done before. I would encourage anyone in Recovery to get involved in things like the weekend away staying at Pinecroft. It’s great to socialise with others in recovery who understand what you have been through. The whole experience was good for my mind, body and soul.

Colin.

Read Kev’s Story from Prison to Recovery

My dad was an alcoholic. He would swing from a happy every-day comedian to a violent bully. He always seemed happy when surrounded by his mates and in the pub, but things were often different when at home. We’d often feel the wrath of his frustration through not being able to work due to arthritis. I remember all the times I was verbally and physically abused. I’d even received a broken nose for eating a lettuce sandwich – that kind of sums up the environment I was brought up in. Mum tried her best, but her best was always hindered by dad.

As soon as I left school, I left home too. Living there, the environment changed on a day to day basis depending on how much he’d had to drink (or how much he hadn’t). My mum was, most of the time, very depressed and unhappy. As soon as I left the house she got divorced from my dad. I was the last one to leave (the youngest of five kids) and this was what she was waiting for, all the kids to leave home so she could leave too.

Link to full story.

Great to be around like-minded people

I’m really grateful that I was given the opportunity to be part of a wonderful and educational weekend – attending a mutual aid convention in London. It was great to be around like-minded people – many living their clean journey and others wanting and working towards that.

We had quite an amusing journey to London. I think we might have been the loudest people on the train. We were laughing, joking and playing cards all the way there. Someone joked that we were probably ‘the cleanest’ on the train as well! Just goes to show that you don’t need a substance to have fun!

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WHAT RECOVERY FROM ALCOHOLISM IS DOING FOR ME TODAY

Ann's Addiction Recovery Story from Alcoholism

Name: Ann
Age: 50
Problem: Alcohol – over 25 years
Abstinent: 13 months (and counting)

I can see now, after working through all aspects of my recovery, with TBRP and AA that I was born an alcoholic. By that I mean I had a reaction to alcohol that produced the addiction, this ‘ism’ that I now understand and recognise completely as being prevalent in me from an early age; the mental compulsion and, most definitely, the spiritual malady.

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Life After Methadone

recovery-times-issue-9---life-after-methadone---ColinMy story featured in RecoveryTimes Issue 3 back in July 2012. I had just come out the other side of a 30 year drug problem, 20 of which was addicted to methadone. I think at that time I had been doing some volunteering and running SMART groups …

As I have continued to get better, my life has too. I started to do more volunteering around the breakfast clubs which take place on a Tuesday and Thursday. I attended training courses on all sorts of subjects including boundaries, safe guarding, recovery, group facilitation etc. I even did a Health and Social Care NVQ level 3 course. I had decided I had something to offer and I really wanted to do more in this field – it felt a natural process. It took a year to do the course.

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Fulfilling Lives

Issue 6 of RecoveryTimes we featured an article by Danielle about making amends. We recently caught up with her and ask what she had been up to …

making-amends-blog-TBRPThe last time I wrote for RecoveryTimes (Issue6) I concentrated on making amends, the amends I had to make with the local curry house. For me it was also about giving back to the local community I had taken so much from over the years. Well that was about two years ago and in the succeeding two years I learnt that after all the amends I have made (and am constantly making) I needed to make amends to myself.

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It’s all about Recovery

Being one of the longest standing and oldest clients and experienced volunteer, I asked Graham about the evolution of TBRP:

“I got to The Basement through a referral from CSMS (Calderdale Substance Misuse Service); I’d been in addiction for about four years, slowly crept into it from being a heavy drinker to a problem drinker to dependency. I don’t use the ‘blame game’ but I had a lot of stress with a high stressful job; addiction got hold.

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Any kind of Recovery – Mindfulness

For quite a while now the Basement Recovery Project have been well aware that recovery from addiction is a long-term and complex process needing a multi-faceted approach to treatment and support. As a part of this approach Michelle and the team have always been keen to try a whole range of different techniques including some possibly less-traditional methods.

To try to explain more, here are three pieces from practitioners and participants of a more holistic style of health promotion.

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An Addicts Guide to Inner Space

(How to get out of your mind without chemical assistance)

On Friday the 7th of February fifteen of the Calderdale in Recovery lot gathered together to embark on a weekend of insight into awareness and mindful-self-mastery at the Martinsell Centre in Marlborough. There were a few mixed opinions on the way down as no one was sure of what to expect but we were all in high spirits and going into this with open minds hoping that, from this experience, we might come away with extra tools to help us on our journey to recovery. Well it was definitely an experience, that’s for sure! Never have I laughed so much in my life and I’m not just talking about laughing I’m talking about proper belly laughs right from the deepest part of the stomach and it made me feel amazing, I’m still laughing a few weeks on!

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On to a Winner with The Corner – addict in recovery

My name is Sue and I’m an addict in recovery. After 32 years of active addiction I am now finally abstinent and I have been for 11 months

I managed to do this with the help of The Corner (part of The Basement Recovery Project) recovery programme and going to fellowship meetings (NA), both of which I’d never heard of 12 months ago. About 10 months ago whilst at The Corner I was asked if I would like to attend a meeting about the ‘multiple and complex needs project’.

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Making Amends

It’s probably no surprise to anyone to learn that when I drank, I drank, and drank … and drank! Wherever I drank trouble seemed to follow, or that’s how it seemed at the time. Of course, I now have the humility to be able to admit that it was I who became trouble when I drank. On the receiving end of that trouble was my local curry house which was open until the early hours of the morning selling alcohol.

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Recovery Gets Ancient

Qi Gong (Chi Kung) is the ancient Chinese practice of meditation through movement and concentrates on the focussing and movement of energy around the body, the words Qi Gong translate as energy cultivating and the practice is the basis for the martial arts such as Tai Chi and Kung Fu.

Made up of three parts; posture (stationary or moving), breathing techniques and mental focus Qi Gong is used to cleanse the body, circulate and store energy (Qi) and also to pass on cleansing and healing energies to other people.

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.

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Richard’s Story

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.

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There is Hope Here

Andy-166For twenty years I struggled with addiction in various forms, alcohol being my primary substance. This led to me losing my family, job and home. Twelve weeks ago I was in absolute despair living in a shabby bedsit and wanting to curl up and die. I felt completely without hope. A strange series of coincidences led me to The Basement. I was given a fantastic welcome by staff and those in recovery. It was so inspiring to see others who had problems such as mine in recovery and thriving.

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Take the cotton wool out of your ears !

I felt compelled to do this, to pass on my “words of wisdom”, and just to share with all the other recovering addicts out there. I’m not doing this to promote The Basement Recovery Project, (although it may seem that way), but more to promote recovery, abstinence and sobriety – all words I never knew until recently in my life. My story is not dissimilar to others out there, so I don’t need to tell you what it was like for me before I hit rock bottom, or what it was like during that part of my life [drink / drugs], but I would like to share with you what my life is like for me now.

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A Wet Day at the Abbey

Well it would seem that not even the appalling weather could stop us hardy recovery types from going out and doing what it is that we do best; have a load of fun.

This became apparent on a cold, wet and windy Friday in early September when 37 intrepid Basement types gathered together for an epic trip to Bolton Abbey where fun and frolics were surely to be found and where a group of determined souls were to stamp their mark on a famous British monument.

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