As part of Recovery Month in September, we spoke to some of our Service Users who agreed that we could publish their experiences. These words have not been edited.
“I grew up in Connah’s Quay, I was in child counselling, so I knew there was always something not quite right. I had my son at 18 and my mental health really took a turn [for the worse], there was all sorts, aggression, drinking, and I turned to drink.
[Before I turned to alcohol] I had a good job, I was a support worker, but then I caught my husband with someone else. I had a breakdown. My mental health hadn’t been great anyway, so that just set me off. I spent a month in a mental health unit, then when I came out I had to face charges of drink driving, criminal damage, and assault. I’ve spent the last 2 years trying to stop drinking and get myself sorted, but the mental health side of it has got worse.
I came to Kaleidoscope and joined in with a couple of things and [suddenly] I had something to do, somewhere I could be myself and somewhere I could talk about the drink and drugs without being ashamed or hiding it. It did a lot for me. I got involved with activities. It was exciting, it was a challenge. It gave me the reassurance and the ability to get through it, I can get through life, I can carry on. It gives you that self-belief again. These little challenges, they teach me that I can do it, that I’m not alone. Otherwise, my life is the house and struggling with my mental health, and then I hit the bottle.
I’ve always had mental health issues, and I’ll never be normal. I’m a bit lost at the moment. I’m trying to get my life back up and running but that’s difficult when you’re lost. That’s why I think the activities help me because it made me believe I can do things again, and you need that because you believe you can do nothing when you come into treatment. Even meeting other people and sitting here and having an open and frank conversation, it’s nice. It’s different.
Kaleidoscope are here if I’ve got issues and I can always come in and talk and they’ll listen to me and help me out and offer me options.”
When we spoke to Louise she was accessing treatment in Powys with Kaleidoscope/CAIS. If you would like to find out more about the services we provide, please visit our Services page: http://www.kaleidoscopeproject.org.uk/our-services/