'I’m going to introduce myself as I do in the recovery world and that is ‘Hi I’m Kay and I’m an addict’
"I was trapped in active addiction for 12 years, testing drugs from age 17 and slowly increasing until I was using everyday. At the height of my drug addiction my routine consisted of four days using and three days asleep without waking.
I was consumed in so much physical, emotional and spiritual pain that I began to lose sight of who I was. The fear was crippling, on top of the guilt and shame I felt due to the amount of people I was hurting along my destructive path.
When my body was slowly wasting away, and my brain no longer functioning, I somehow made the decision that I was done. Although I didn’t know how to stop using drugs I knew that I did not want to die from them.
I was unable to receive funding from the government to attend rehab, so thankfully my parents stepped in. I was sent to an all-women’s 12 step rehabilitation center in Norwich, thirteen days after I made the choice to surrender to the drugs. In rehab I was able to learn about the disease of addiction, whilst receiving structure and discipline. I worked on re-training my brain and learning, not only how to live without drugs, but also a new attitude, behavior and thought process. I began to see my personality coming back and the scars in my heart began to heal. After completing 6 months I left rehab with a secured place for after care. The transition was immensely scary, as rehab provides you with a safety bubble, however, I had a great support network around me which was encouraging.
Shortly after completing my aftercare, which consisted of going back to rehab three mornings a week, I was accepted onto The Matthew Project recovery support programme.
This instantly taught me normal adult things, like making sure I had food in my cupboards for my lunch, going to bed on time, getting up in the morning, picking what to wear etc. It also showed me that fact I was trustworthy, reliable, consistent, willing and could run to a structure whilst being on time.
I am not sure even to this day what I would have done without the recovery support programme. It provided me with a focus, a place to be around others who understood me, and space to grow in confidence and develop the person I am.
After attending two courses with the Matthew Project I was provided with the opportunity to volunteer for two days a week to help set up the next recovery support programme. This quickly developed into me being offering a one year internship with the charity. I now run workshops, assess new members and assist in the day to day running of the programme. It is great that I have the experience and knowledge of where active addiction can take you so that I can help others.
Today I am 1 year and 10 months clean and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I have restitution in all areas of my life and I am loved, trusted, respected and accepted again.
Recovery is possible – It's work if you work it"