25 stories
- Ben -

“Whatever happens in the future, I have gained something invaluable that has been missing from my life for decades, hope and optimism. Life, it turns out, is worth it”.

I came into Double Impact via We Are With You, after using drink and drugs on and off for nearly 40 years. I tried abstinence without any or very little recovery resources before, but this always led me to being unhappy and eventually returning to substances. Double Impact has and continues to play a major part in my recovery. For me it is the wide range of support that has really made the difference. The 1-1 support, the different groups and the peer connection. If I was to describe my approach to recovery this time, compared to prior attempts, it would be to say that I have thrown myself into recovery as if my life depended on it, because it did, also because I knew something had to change. It turns out it was me that had to change. Without Double Impact I would have struggled to find the support I needed.

The staff and volunteers that work at Double Impact, have a genuine empathy, kindness and concern for people like me that come into the service. We can be difficult people to deal with in early recovery, but the safe environment at Double Impact and the encouragement from the staff allowed me to open up and express how I really felt. Being able to be vulnerable and speak openly, without judgement has been key to my recovery.

The groups have been another major part of my recovery. One aspect of the groups that I really benefited from, was that however insecure, depressed or anxious I felt, I knew that I would be in a safe place. This allowed me to challenge my old behaviours. I could come to a group when my head was telling me to isolate. This helped me to accept my feelings, but also to realise that I can change my behaviours, which in turn helps me to feel better, ultimately reducing my fears and negative feelings. The range of groups has also been a great help, from open discussion groups, ACT, to E-learning and creative sessions.

Art has become a big part of my life now, which prior to coming to Double Impact I only saw as something to observe rather than take part in. The creative groups and in particular the art project with Lincoln University has opened up opportunities I had never dreamed of. I have overcome being self-conscious by taking part and sharing things I have created. This didn’t happen in a day. It was a gradual process, sometimes difficult, really putting myself out of my comfort zone, but I know now that pushing through these challenging situations has allowed me to grow and learn from them. I have also gained a group of peer support friends in recovery through attending groups.

Starting the mentoring course has had a big impact on how I see my future. The result of coming to Double Impact could be that I can volunteer or potentially in the longer term, work in a recovery role. Seeing other users of the service move into volunteer roles and even into paid employment at Double Impact has been an inspiration to me. This is the reality of recovery. It works. The more I put in, the more I get back, the more I can give back. It has replaced the circle of addiction with a progression of recovery. Whatever happens in the future, I have gained something invaluable that has been missing from my life for decades, hope and optimism. Life, it turns out, is worth it.

Thank you.

← Back to all Stories