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Recovery from alcohol and drug problems is a process of change through which an individual achieves abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life.” I have managed to change my life by changing the way I behave, so I have changed the way I think and feel, and I do not need to get back to my old behaviour because I can understand my emotions and be free of any substance misuse.

In my journey the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and CGL support staff have been particularly important on this life change so I am able to achieve my main goal which is abstinence. I would like to start with a brief description about some of the constituencies of using my drug of choice in my life. Difficult to manage my money or my finances. I lost my house. No money to buy food. I have become homeless a few times. I have been sleeping on the streets or parks a few times.

It was a very scary experience because I did not have the skills to live on the street, without shelter, not being able to cook or eat properly or shower. So, I become very vulnerable. Sometimes I was sleeping in a night shelter and I have been attacked a few times. Damages my relationship with my family and my friends. I did lose many friends when I most needed their support. Not being able to have a full-time job, because I did not want to commit to it.

My life became so unstable that I was not able to stay in one place, or city so I can improve my quality of life or wellbeing by healthy relationships and being attached to a place. Lack of hope and my life become very lonely, so I did not have anyone to go to. My big wish was to be able to get back my life so I can improve my quality of life.

How much I have changed my life; I got a place to live so I am not afraid of becoming homeless again. I got a job I like and enjoy. I got a perverse view of life that motivates to get up every morning and enjoy my day.

I have volunteered for different organizations to mentor people with addictive behaviour. It has improved my relationship with my family. I got time for them. I got time to lose, and I can care for them. I got time to make new friends and to socialize. Socialising is becoming easier. I got money to buy new clothes and food and I got time for my hobbies or social activities.

My health has been improving by eating well and sleeping the hours my body needs and exercise. My menthol health has improved because I respect myself and I love myself. And I got my self-esteem back. My sobriety is my main priority in life, and I will not allow anyone or anything to get it out from me. But more importantly I can manage my feelings and I can understand them. I am so happy to have my life back, I have been born again and simple things like waking up on my bed or long walks in the park becomes so enjoyable.

It is important to access the services by organizations like CGL so you know what steps to take, and you can get all the advice and information needed to change your life. It is important to be supported by people who can understand you. Listening and following staff advice and working hard on your recovery so you can get your life back. Important to educate your friends and family so they can understand what you are going through. But more important is to love yourself so you can love the ones you love and be loved again.

I would like to thank all the people that helped me in my difficult moments over the last few years but also on this difficult life change journey called “recovery.”

Thank you, all the people that believe in me, but also the people that do not believe in me, because they have made me work harder in my recovery.

Thank you all.

Special thanks to all the CGL Staff in Walthamstow.

David Goodrum Case Study Click to get info

I am a young female from a Turkish background that came to this country as a small child with my family as a political refugee.

Since my teenage years I have struggled with a chronic mental health issue with the ups and downs placing a strain on my relationships with my family. As the eldest child I have always felt a need to set an example to my younger siblings. Having suffered a lot of emotional trauma in my twenties I began using drugs and drinking alcohol to numb the pain.

Before long this spiralled out of control and I was putting myself in very dangerous situations and I literally could not see a way out. After being arrested by the police I found myself in the criminal justice system and was given the opportunity to address my addiction through an ATR (alcohol treatment order) which is when I went to Change Grow Live in Walthamstow.

I fully embraced and engaged with everything that CGL offered, this included groupwork and 1-1 sessions with my recovery coordinator and although it wasn’t easy at first, I finally started to see there was a way out. My coordinator helped me to understand the harm that I was doing to myself and the pain I was inflicting on my loved ones around me. I have been sober now for several months and learned to take things a day at a time, my mental health as a result of me addressing my addiction is improving, and although it’s a daily battle that I have come to accept, I am hopeful that I can lead a fulfilling life.

My advice to others in a similar situation would be to talk to your loved ones and help them to understand what you are going through, and to seek out the help you need. if it feels like no one is listening at first don’t give up with the right amount of support, determination and willpower you can do it!

After all I did.