“I’ve experienced problems with alcohol addiction for years and my story is not unique.
“I’ve always been extremely shy, and was bullied when I was at school. I’ve also struggled with my sexuality for many years and haven’t known where to turn.
“I used alcohol to block out the way I felt inside, but when my drinking got really bad my GP suggested I should go to New Beginnings for a detox. This was really scary for me, but after a volunteer took me there to show me around, it felt a really welcoming place.
“It took a lot of courage for me to step into the building that morning, but the staff and clients there truly wanted to know me and offer me help. It felt at last, that this was the place where I could change. After meeting a doctor, and discussing a detox regime, the date came, I was frightened and worried, but deep down inside I knew this was what I needed to do.
“When I arrived, I unpacked and immediately staff were there to support me. I started talking to people and found out they had been through similar experiences to me, and some had even been in the same place that I had been.
“Before long, the days were passing very quickly and I was learning more and more both about myself and how not to drink alcohol. I started to understand my triggers and demons and it’s true what they say, ‘a step at a time’.
“I have now completed the Structured Day Programme which was excellent. This is what I called my aftercare, because puttingthe drink down, just isn’t enough, you need to move away from it as well. I’m now volunteering and mentoring for the service, and my confidence has grown so much and I really feel like I’m putting something back.
“I’m supporting clients who are setting out on their own recovery journeys, and giving them hope and inspiration that they can do it, just like I have. I won’t pretend it was easy, but gosh it was worth it.
“I now feel proud about who I am today, what I’ve achieved and what I have to give.”
“My name is Annie. I was injecting from a very young age as well as using alcohol.
“I’m not proud of that period in my life, but I saw it as the only way to cope. Some of the things I did when I look back were really risky and I’m surprised I’m still here.
“I was in that ‘madness’ for over ten years. I’d attempted several detoxes at home but failed, I’d even done an inpatient detox on the ward but that failed too. I saw no hope or future and didn’t understand that recovery was more than a detox at that time.
“I started attending self-help groups, I even looked at NA but wasn’t sure. Slowly but surely people encouraged me to go to the breakfast club at New Beginnings and start to look at what was happening for me. The team there were really friendly and welcoming. The breakfast there was brilliant too! I guess that kept me going up there in the early days as all my money was consumed in surviving day to
“Over time, I started meeting people who were going through detox, and others who had successfully completed it. They seemed really happy and I wanted some of that. “I spoke to my keyworker who got me in to detox, it helped knowing the building and the people up there. They seemed to really
understand my problems.
“I’d like to say it was easy but it wasn’t, but each day it got better and I learned a little bit more. For the first time in my life I felt I was moving forward. Things became clear and my thinking was sharper.
“I’m now on the Structured Day Programme. I’ve learnt to cook, not only for myself but for a group of 20 people. I’m just going now to the gym – that’s something else they helped me to get involved in.
“I’d recommend New Beginnings to anyone, what have you got to lose?”
Aspire is a partnership organisation set up by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) and registered charity The Alcohol & Drug Service (ADS).
We pride ourselves on being innovative and forward thinking, and work closely with the recovery communities we serve to provide flexible, responsive services, which offer the best possible recovery outcomes for all our service users.