25 stories
- Helen -

When I entered into recovery I was 42 years old, married, homeowner with two children, working part time in a job that I love, with plenty of prospects. I had family and friends. However, there was also another side to this seemingly ‘normal’ life. I was an addict and had been since the age of 15 years old.

I had suffered with an eating disorder for all of my teenage years which continued into my late twenties and alongside this self-harm, suicide attempts and heavy drinking.

In my late teens and early twenties, I was a ‘party animal’ and managed to drink every night, go to the gym, go to work and live a good life, but I suffered with low mood, obsessiveness over alcohol. Eventually I stopped going out as I was unable to control how much I drank and drank heavily every evening at home instead. I got into a small amount of debt but managed to keep the lie going. I had always known that I was addicted to alcohol but did not want to face it.

I was always trying to look for ways to continue drinking, as this was my way of handling my emotions, but function in life. I had accessed other services for help but I was deluded and wanted to find ways to continue using alcohol as a coping mechanism without it affecting my life. Unfortunately, and it is sad to say that being a mother to two beautiful amazing children was not the push or revelation that I needed.

I was not at rock bottom, but I was still drinking heavily, when I accessed the first online group at Recovery Links. I knew I could no longer keep the lie going and my life was starting to fray at the edges. I was very nervous, anxious and apprehensive about joining my first group as I knew this was it. After the first meeting I had never felt so positive and motivated - unlike all other groups I had attended this was not about the substance, it was about the present, the future, positivity and living in recovery.

I instantly felt that I had met a group of like-minded, supportive, incredible people and I started to feel accepted and ‘normal’. I am now 16 months sober and I am still doing my dream job and have progressed with this. I have new hobbies, take time out for self-care and appreciate every day for what it brings. I now want to give to others what I have received from Double Impact. I am grateful for this journey and see my life in recovery as a wonderful opportunity to get to know myself again, take on challenges, meet the most incredible people, expand my support network and know that I’ve got this!

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