Real Stories in North Ayrshire

  • I'll live and laugh again poem
    A moving poem describing one woman's feelings

  • Looking Forward
    A woman speaks about her early experiences of heroin and the impacts it had on her life, how methadone helped her get stable, and how she has moved on with her life now that she no longer uses methadone or illicit drugs.

  • One Day at a Time
    A young man who had a good upbringing talks about how drugs affected his life and how he is moving forward with his recovery.

  • This is only the start
    A man recalls not remembering life without alcohol, living in a dump and every penny going on the drink, but importantly how he turned his life around using local support and building friendships and a new life for himself filled with hope and ambition.

  • My Journey into Recovery
    A man tells how his inquisitive mind led him on a path of risk taking and drug use which took over his life, stripped of his job, kids and marriage; and how he has started to turn things around.

  • Moving Forward
    A young man who was homeless talks about how FITB4U helped him reduce his drinking, gain new skills and get his confidence back.

  • My Recovery Story
    A mum of two speaks of her struggle with drugs and how the impact of losing her kids gave her the strength to start and continue her recovery journey with support from local services.
 
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My Recovery Story

 
 

I’m a 33 year - old mum of two, and I’ve had both my girl and boy back living at home for just over 2 years now. When they first moved home I was under a supervision order, but that ended just before Christmas and I was over the moon with a feeling of achievement. Now maintaining my new improved life for me and my kids is the goal.

 

 

I smoked heroin for about 10 years and to be honest my addiction kind of crept up on me. For the first while there wasn’t really a change and at the beginning I never noticed any difference on my life. I was a skeleton in the cupboard, no-one knew about my addiction, not my family or anyone. As the years moved on I began to notice a difference and so did people who knew me.

 

 

I fell further and further into my addiction, money became a big problem. When you start asking for money, that’s when people start twigging. But there were other signs too, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I didn’t care about my appearance, and I didn’t want to know about or do anything. The only thing I made sure of was that my kids had something on the table at dinner time.

 

 

My aunt was the only one who ever approached me about my addiction; she thought I had a problem. I remember she said to me "We all like a drink, and in moderation its fine, but you need to stop drinking the way you are, if not for you do it for your kids.” Unsurprisingly I denied it, and told her that there was no problem. Looking back I think my dad knew that I was having problems, but he never said anything. I reckon if he had given me the dad talking to, and took me by the hand I would have went and got help much sooner.

 

 

My mum died when I was young, and it was when my dad passed away a few years ago I realised I couldn’t keep on doing what I was doing, I needed to be here for my kids. The fear of having my kids taken off me did stop me from going for support earlier. Social Work had called out to the house a few times, but I was good, there was no evidence of my drug use, and the house was in ok condition.

 

 

I managed to pull the wool over the eyes of my family and professionals alike. Finally, one day when I was in really bad form the social workers came to the house and I was honest with them, I told them that I took heroin. They asked me to get some things together for the kids and asked if I had anyone they could stay with. My sister-in-law took them for the weekend, which turned into a week, but she wasn’t able to keep them any longer.

 

 

I was in a panic because there was no-one else. Social Work had found them a placement, but my kids would have been separated. By chance I met my dad’s fiancée and I was so upset that I told her everything. The kids knew her well, and she was my godsend as Social Work agreed that my kids could stay with her. Within 3 months I had my kids back living with me, but it was the longest 3 months of my life.

 

 

During those initial stages, it was so difficult, my kids were all I could think about, but I wasn’t allowed to see them. I was becoming more and more desperate. Social Work said they would be drug testing me, and that I needed to be clean. So, I cold turkeyed it from heroin and my prescription meds too which are there for chest problems. The doctor said one thing and Social Work said another; I listened to my social worker as I was desperate for my kids back in my life.

 

 

After 3 months i got placed on a methadone script which really helped me. It was tricky at the start though because I was still being prescribed Dihydrocodiene for the arthritis in my chest, and it’s also used as a substitute for heroin, and so I was still getting some sort of kick, but it wasn’t hard to stop it as I had already got clean. It was and still is difficult to find a pain relief that does not have to involve taking medication.

 

 

I am still on my Methadone script and I haven’t gone up or down for a year. I see my drug worker much less often. I want to know that I am ready to reduce my methadone before I ask them. I don’t want there to be any risk that I’ll relapse. I have a very strong self-will at the moment, I want to maintain what I have achieved and I want to do it for myself and for my kids.

 

 

I do not want to be dependent on anything or anyone, I want to be drug free, I want to be able to put mind over matter in every aspect of my life. What I would say to anyone thinking about seeking support in the form of a methadone script is that you’ve got to 100% want to do it.

 

 

 

A Methadone script is not the only support that I received, my social worker linked me in with the Council’s Addiction Services and I have done a lot of group work with them. It was completely my choice whether I got involved, but it definitely helped. I recommend it.

 

 

 

Out of all the group work I've been to i would say that everyone should go to some sort of relapse course, it’s really good at helping you to find triggers and have tools in place to deal with them. It has definitely helped me a lot. I know it won’t work for everyone; there are different things for different folk. I went along to the art group too. I’m not really arty, but went along and it was fun. I really enjoyed myself.

 

 

 

The one thing about the groups is that they go on for months and you get used to doing something every week and then it just stops and you have to try and work out how you are going to fill that time. Out of all the groups I have to say that I love the activities group. I just get such a buzz from it, because it’s an activity and it’s something you’ve never tried or done before, but you give it a shot! You push limits, and you support other people. You help them to have enough confidence to have a go, you have a wee carry on and spend time with people who become friends.

 

 

 

When I can’t make it along to things now I am disappointed, and the others miss me which is always nice to know. They are more than just group members they are my friendship group and we appreciate each other’s company and look f forward to it. I still meet up with people that I met at previous groups, we go for a coffee every so often and have a catch up. Peer support is one of the best.

 

 

 

To maintain my recovery and where i have got to, I know I need to keep busy, not all the time, but I fill my spare time even if it’s only doing the house work every day. I’m able to think about my kids and the life I want for us and I am able to move on. I am lucky that I am a confident person because when someone says something to me or asks me if I want something I am able to say NO and mean it.

 

 

 

Like everyone I come across people who are jealous that I have managed to get my life back on track, people who make sly comments, but I am able to stick up for myself and to make sure my kids or anyone else don’t have to witness that sort of behaviour.

 

 

 

I think I’m doing pretty well at regaining society’s acceptance and I just want to carry on living my life. I picked up my provisional license from the post office today and I’m planning on saving up for some driving lessons. What I really want now is to get a job, have a proper routine for myself, and to have a few extra pounds in my pocket so I can take the kids out once a month and do something new or something special with them.

 

 

Ideally I would like to get to a stage where I have the skills and training I need to work with people affected by alcohol and drugs. I have walked the walk, I have experience similar to others, and I think people would be more honest about their behaviour and their thoughts with me. I really want to encourage people not to use on top of their scripts.

 

 

I am still in recovery and I believe I’ll always be in recovery, that’s just life; there will always be obstacles in our way. I will use my confidence and tools I have developed to deal with them and to move forward in my recovery. I wish everyone the best of luck to successfully complete their recovery – we are not all failures. I have been off heroin for 3 years now and I now know that I will never be back there again. I want to remind people that they are never alone, there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

 
 


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