‘ NATURE HAS HELPED ME IMMENSELY ’
The past 18 months have been a challenge with regard to maintaining and developing my recovery . The basic ingredients haven ’ t changed – I remind myself every morning that I can ’ t drink or use safely under all conditions , and use prayer and meditation .
Regular communication with others who are on a similar journey , electronically and face-to-face , has been supportive .
Developing my relationship with nature has also been a significant factor in my recovery . Early morning walks by a lake , observing the swans , coots , ducks and squirrels going about their daily business without trying to impose their will on each other has helped me immensely .
I have a cherry tree outside my home and I became intimately aware of the processes of change this tree underwent over the lockdown . From bare in winter , buds appearing and magnificent blossom in spring , vibrant green foliage which becomes brighter after the recent heavy rainfall and soon back to basics .
Going on treasure hunts with my grandchildren , digging a hole when their metal detector beeped and witnessing their awe and
excitement , followed by their disappointment as we unearthed an old soft-drink can . ‘ At least we know your detector works ,’ I would say .
Acknowledging my disappointment when I received yet another rejection from a job application . Grateful for the feedback requested and the opportunity to incorporate this knowledge in my next application .
Doing voluntary work online and via the telephone kept me in touch with reality . As a colleague reminded me recently , if I want to have a miserable day , I only have to focus on I , self , me . Ronald Bell
‘ SUPPORTING OTHERS MOTIVATES ME ’
I have been with DHI since 2017 , where I support others in my role as a peer mentor . I came to DHI after completing rehab and moving to Bristol from Plymouth – I wanted to start again in a brand new city . Bristol has lots to offer with culture , music , history and diversity , and people are encouraged to be who they want to be . I love living here .
At the beginning of the lockdown it felt like a novelty to me and I didn ’ t feel daunted by the situation . After a while , it began to get to me . There were things
to do , but it wasn ’ t easy to find the motivation to do them . Then DHI provided us with everything we needed to work from home . I felt focused again and was able to support people who needed help – even more so in this time of uncertainty . I was able to provide a lifeline to people , which gave me purpose and motivation again .
I haven ’ t had a drink for five years , and my resilience comes from my motivation to keep living the life I am . Stuart Kelly , DHI Bristol Peer Support
‘ BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF ’
At Forward Trust we know that no one person is the same . Friendly , nonjudgemental support , no matter what you have gone through is essential to recovery and sustaining positive change .
On 6 August , I was 900 days sober . When I decided I needed to stop drinking , I had in my head that if I could do 100 days without a drink , I could do recovery in the long term . In those first 100 days I moved house , had a family wedding and faced everyday challenges in my life and in my journey to recovery .
Support is key to recovery . I received support from The Forward Trust ’ s Dover Day Programme , a 13- week day rehab . The support worked for me . I learned new skills and built
safe and sober friendships that I still maintain . A support network helps you through the good and the bad , and builds your resilience . Often people forget that the ‘ good ’ events in life can be just as challenging as the bad times when you are trying to maintain your sobriety .
I now work for Forward Trust as a drug and alcohol recovery worker , helping others find recovery . I , and many of my colleagues , have personal experience of drug and alcohol issues . We understand what people are going through . My advice is the same to everyone : try everything and keep trying . Push yourself to try new things . Get to a meeting , online or face-to-face . It can be tough , but find support you can be open and honest with . Be honest with yourself and most of all keep on keeping on . With support from likeminded people , life is good – no , life is amazing ! Darren Lacey , drug and alcohol recovery worker at The Forward Trust
‘ WE DISCOVERED RECOVERY IN SO MANY SITUATIONS ’
As a mom and daughter , four generations living under one roof ,