Below is a story told by an ex-resident, reporting on the transformational change she has been able to make through being on the freedom2live Recovery Programme. Since writing this, she has completed Stage 2 of the programme and moved back to her home town, started working and maintained a substance free, positive and healthy lifestyle and is hoping to increase contact with her son.
“I grew up in a very dysfunctional family, as a child I witnessed drugs, violence, crime, abuse and many other things that a child should not be exposed to. I started misusing alcohol and illegal drugs at a young age to block out the hurt I had experienced. At 17 years I had a son, and tried to do well as a mother but his father was very violent so life was very difficult, to try to cope I started using heroin and crack cocaine, this continued for 5 years, I wanted to stop using drugs but couldn’t do it on my own.
I eventually had a period of 18 months of being drug free, but I have since realised that I hadn’t dealt with the issues leading to the drug misuse so I became complacent and had a serious relapse resulting in my son being removed, I lost my self-respect and many other things.
By the grace of God I found GNFC who took me in quickly to help me get clean and recover.
Since being here I have learnt how to love myself again and have been fully supported by the staff members. My relationships have been restored, especially with my son. I now see more clearly, I have a confidence and a hope about my future. There are a range of different groups which I attend including Self Esteem, Boundaries, Life’s Healing Choices and many more – they have been really beneficial for me.
I recommend GNFC to any vulnerable woman seeking help in recovery. It has changed my life.”
Recovery resident, January 2017
D had a traveller background, with an extensive history of drug misuse, domestic violence, chaotic lifestyle and destructive behaviour. D’s daughter witnessed much of this lifestyle and consequently with the involvement of social care, moved to live full-time with her grandmother. Following this, D was referred to the GNFC recovery service whilst on a methadone reduction programme. D completed the methadone reduction programme and fully engaged with the Recovery programme. She maintained contact with her daughter and after 5 months, her daughter was able to return to D’s care for the remainder of her recovery. D also had external support with counselling, the drug and alcohol team, community mental health team and the local school support team.
After 9 months of recovery, D and her daughter moved into their own property, D is currently volunteering with a charity and aiming to gain employment with them. Since leaving the Recovery Centre, D has remained abstinent and is inspired to encourage and motivate others who have suffered from addictions. She said:
“I came to GNFC in August 2015 not knowing my identity, addicted to heroin, methadone, amphetamine for 20 years. My time at GNFC has been amazing and has opened my eyes to a future of freedom.”
“I feel like my life experience is being considered, this makes me feel valued, encouraged and like what I have to offer is respected and worthy. Staff are really helpful, supportive and understanding. I have been able to discuss and work through past and present issues to help with my recovery. I am starting to feel at home here, when I have not had somewhere I have called home before.”
Recovery resident, April 2017
“It is a challenging environment with a mixture of clients with varying needs. I have no complaints, how could I? GNFC saved my life and continue to do so.”
Ex-recovery resident, community service user, April 2017
“The key-work sessions really help me to stay focused on why I am here and reflect on my past behaviour in order to learn how I can change for the best”
Recovery resident, February 17
“If it was not for GNFC Recovery, I would not have care of my son”
Recovery resident, January 2017
“While at Oldfield Farm I felt part of the family, which is very important to a vulnerable woman. I feel supported and am progressing quickly with staff support. I would recommend the programme to many people who are suffering from addiction and other difficulties”
Recovery resident, August 16
“GNFC is what it is called, we are all like one big family. We sometimes annoy each other but at the end of everything we all care for each other. This may not sound like much for people who take family for granted, but for a lot of us here, a caring family is something we never knew. But now we do and it’s changed my life and outlook for the better.”