Welcome to the Survive and Recover Project. The content is produced by people surviving and recovering from addictions and the resulting social exclusion. YES-U-ARE as charity that champion vulneralble people in our community has been working with twelve people, they were invited and supported in contributing pieces of writing as a supplementary source of information to the Action Research aspect of the wider At Cor/Yes-U-Are project.
This enabled people not simply to develop their writing skills, but also to reflect on their earlier lives and the difficult and at times traumatising circumstances and problematic choices which may have preceded their current situations.
Their words have also provided information and insight about the positive and negative features of their experience of local statutory and voluntary sector services. Participation enabled them to review their lives as they are today, and their prospects for a safer and more successful future. In two cases stories and songs relating to clients’ earlier lives have received very positive responses when published through social media outlets.
WRINTING CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE GROUP OF PEOPLE WE HAVE WORKED.
My father died when I was nine.
I didn't know how to feel at the time.
Sometimes I was happy and then:
sometimes I felt sad!
As I got older, I knew he wasn't coming back;
It was me, me Mum and sister, so for that I was glad.
Eventually I started high school and got bullied for my looks.
I tried to ignore it, but it put me off studying my books.
I ended up leaving and meeting this boy,
He got me into drugs and at one point I thought I was going to die!
I ended up leaving him: the best choice I made.
Until I found out I was pregnant.
I was scared to tell my Mum,
But once I had told her
And had her support,
I realised she was a Number One Mum!
I'd heard some stories about really bad pregnancies,
And I started getting really scared,
But like my Mum told me,
She would always be there.
That made me feel better,
As everything I needed,
I had with me, there!
Nine months later,
We found out something was wrong.
I noticed he had muscle spasms,
Really bad pain;
And was also really depressed for his age.
After many consultations,
He got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
And my heart broke in two!
But he is my baby,
So me an my Mum had God keep a very close eye on him.
I try to work as many hours as God sends,
And am very lucky to have such good friends.
People have health issues,
As I have just found out with one of my friends.
We have made a pact to be there for each other,
And that's the meaning of what a true friend should be.
So, what I am trying to say,
In this short piece of writing,
Is, no matter what happens in life,
As long as you have good friends,
You shall get through everything and anything.
So, I just keep smiling,
God does exist!
And if you believe,
Your dreams and wishes will come true.
Believe in yourself,
And others shall believe in you!
So, don't give up on your dreams,
Nothing you want to do is impossible.
Always remember that everyone is put on this earth for a reason.
Keep Dreaming People!
Anonymous, May 2016.
I've been taking drugs now, for about 20 years!
So, I can tell you, there's been lots of tears!
The habit was hard to break!
As the heroin was all I wanted to take!
I spent lots of coins,
To inject into my groins!
Wasted was what I wanted to feel.
So, off I went on my way to steal.
Over the years, I've ended up broke!
So, believe me, THIS ISN'T A JOKE!
But what I can say,
This is about the life of a Heroin Addict!!
I pray for the people who show me love,
The one's which were sent to me from above.
Broken hearted is how we started,
But now there's only us.
The devil's soldiers have their ways.
The hateful fools and helpless slaves,
They follow us into peril,
But hey know not that perish they will.
The ones who show and act as they care,
Are the ones who are forever there.
Thick, Thin, weakest hearts.
This is a victorious start.
Challenge, threaten, hurt they will.
But it's us who'll have the final till.
The terrors that run in my tears,
Are a century full of fears!
I cry myself to sleep at night.
But not because I've lost a fight.
I cry for those that I've defeated,
And to begin with, wholly greeted.
As the conscience fights,
The terror bites,
Of a past that lives unfinished.
My mind and soul, are in the middle,
And begin to feel diminished.
The cold dark feeling building up,
And snatching at my breath.
My heart feels heavy and wants to go.
But it's cold and hurts and so afraid,
I wish that death would visit me,
And take the pain away.
Please save me from my torn self,
And build my heart anew.
The pain of carrying a twisted soul,
Is a nightmare living true.
Another try wouldn't go amiss.
For, it's not just me I'm hurting.
Just now my life comes second now!
I sit on the cold ground,
With my head bowed low,
I don't want you to see my face,
As I'm embarrassed, so!!
I watch the feet of the passers-by,
While inside my soul does cry.
Like a thief in the night,
The cold sneaks up,
While I wait for a clink.
Of change in my begging bowl.
Some people look at me with pure disdain,
Chinese whispers, again and again.
Then a kind hand is offered to me.
Along with a roll and a cup of tea.
To sit in the same place for hours isn't so nice.
Especially when your feet and hands have turned to blocks of ice.
Some people I get to know well,
If it wasn't for them I'd be constantly in hell.
I'm going to leave names out.
Unfortunately, last Feb I had my longest time in prison for 2 years. So, I have been at liberty from Feb 23rd. I came out of jails free from any misused substance. However, I eventually started to abuse opiates then I became addicted very quickly. I also suffer mental health problems. I first engaged with workers who are part of the Yes-U-Are charity.
As part of my own stupidity, (I will not explain what I have done due to the fact that I am writing this story positively and I am downright embarrassed and ashamed).
The Yes-U-Are workers have been total life-savers and if it wasn't for them, I would be deeper into a black abyss. Both of them have given me hope, helped to put me in the right and positive direction.
I would like to give a couple of examples and praise them for not giving up on me and realising that I do have potential and thank them for their encouragement and positivity. A great example is that when I was released from prison, the charity, (on 2 occasions) took me shopping for clothes. I was in total crisis and I was bought a couple of outfits. Also, helped me with finding a GP and attending appointments.
One major change, and it did take a couple of months, so the three of us decided, that with their help and encouragements, I pick up a prescription to address my habitual opiate use.
Although the medication is going to be a substitute - it will be very difficult to come off hard drugs but the charity are continuing to help and support me and I can and will eventually beat this affliction that I did, idiotically, bring on myself.
If it wasn't for Yes-U-Are staff, I know for a fact I would be dead otherwise in an awful place that I have no one else to blame except myself. So thank you for all the help and rescuing me from that black abyss.
I will write again in the coming months and let you know how I have managed to better things. Thank you, Colin T.