Recovery journeys

Here you can read a collection of first-hand accounts from our service users about their own or their loved ones’ recovery journeys.
Photograph of a white man with short salt-and-pepper hair, wearing a black t-shirt and with a work lanyard around his neck stood in front of a door with the 'Rise' logo on it
Former soldier Phil Rogers left the army with PTSD and only after losing his partner, his home, becoming dependent on alcohol and cutting his wrists did he finally get the help and support he deserved. Phil now volunteers at RISE Recovery in Barnstaple because he doesn’t want to see other people go through the ‘hell’ he lived.
Services: 
Adult drug and alcohol
Mental health
photograph of a white man in his 40s with slightly punky hair. He is wearing a white t-shirt and looking into the camera with his head cocked to one side
Kenny’s alcohol issues turned everything on its head - including his career and his relationship with his girlfriend of over 10 years. Now he’s come out the other side, he’s determined to make Addaction Glasgow work for other people in the way it worked for him.
Services: 
Adult drug and alcohol
Picture of a young, white teenager leaning on a brick wall looking at the camera. In the background are two teenage girls
Andrew, who’s 17 and from South Yorkshire, has Asperger’s Syndrome and had been using a mixture of club drugs (mainly ecstasy and cocaine) since he was 14 to help him feel more outgoing and connected with others when he was out socially. A shock referral to Young Addaction led him to a better life.
Services: 
Young persons
James Glasgow
"I still live in the same flat, so people round there have seen me at my worst…but I don’t need to run away from that. I’ve become a positive influence in my community and I’m a visible presence of recovery."
Services: 
Adult drug and alcohol
Photograph of a middle-aged asian woman with bobbd shoulder-length hair and wearing a blue top. She is leaning on a railing and gazing out into the camera. Behind her is a bridge over a river.
Clare, 50, came to Thinkaction miapt Merton after finding out about the service from a local group she had started to attend, Focus for One. “I was definitely having a breakdown. I had lost my job, and the job centre was giving me nothing but hassle, which really made me anxious and stressed. Then I was also losing my home.” Clare wasn’t sure where to turn to, as she'd grown up in a family where “I was always taught that you do not divulge anything outside the house.”
Services: 
Mental health
Photograph of a dark haired white young man looking straight at the camera, looking despondent. Behind him are other young men but they are blurry and out of focus
Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 is all about ‘relationships’. When you’re growing up it’s important to be aware of your relationships with other people, from your parents to friends, teachers or colleagues. Sometimes it can be hard to leave friendship circles that don’t make you happy. Ryan’s local friends were affecting his well-being and attitude to life. Over time he began to recognise that by continuing to hang out with certain groups – which mainly involved drugs, alcohol and repeated offending – would mean a downward spiral for himself. He knew he had to distance himself, but this wasn’t easy as he lived among them and at the time they were his only friends.
Services: 
Friends and family
Young persons
Photograph of three young people sat around a kitchen table, deep in conversation.
Addaction's Mind and Body practitioners supports young people to develop their self-esteem and find better coping mechanisms than self-harm. Following a successful pilot in Canterbury, the programme is now being expanded across Kent and also rolled out in Cornwall and Lancashire. Emily was one of the participants in the initial Mind and Body pilot. Here she shares her experience in her own words.
Services: 
Mental health
Young persons
Photograph of a young, white man with very short hair and wearing a grey hoodie. He is turned away from the camera, looking out the window
Many people who are serving prison sentences suffer with mental health conditions. 49% of women and 23% of male prisoners in a Ministry of Justice study were assessed as suffering from anxiety and depression.
Services: 
Mental health
Photograph of a woman in her 30s, wearing a pink scarf, looking out a window. The weather outside is rainy and she looks sad
Mental Health Awareness Week is all about ‘relationships’. Sometimes the breakdown of a relationship with a spouse or partner can really affect the direction your life is going and throw up some very challenging obstacles that can leave you stressed, lonely or feeling low. It’s important to remember that there is support out there for you if you want it. Holly’s story, below, is about how her life started to spiral downwards after breaking up with her wife, but her recovery ended in a very unexpected, but very happy job…
Services: 
Mental health
“I was against drinking for ages, then I started to get into trouble” Steven’s birth parents struggled with drug and alcohol misuse. He was adopted by a new family, along with his siblings, but was bullied at school for being adopted. At nine years old Steven started smoking cannabis to make him feel better.
Services: 
Young persons
Photograph closeup of a white man with short white hair. He is wearing glasses, and a red hoodie, looking at the camera at a slight angle. He is sitting in a wooden chair designed by Charles Renee Mackintosh
"When I got into recovery things kept coming back into my life: I started wanting to make art again, I started playing guitar again."
Services: 
Adult drug and alcohol
"I started smoking cannabis when I was 16. At first it was tens a day, which turned into eighths a day, then tens AND eighths. Whatever money I made in a week, it all went on weed."
Services: 
Young persons

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