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Milly's Story - "I'm back in my old job as a radio reporter"

 

I relapsed after a few years clean and went downhill fast. When I picked up drugs again I had a good job, friends and a nice place to live. I tried to stop many times and did many home detoxes, but despite these attempts 9 months later I was living in a homeless shelter, addicted to heroin, methadone, crack and alcohol. I was using drugs intravenously and street sex working and shoplifting to support my habit. I was suicidal, frequently psychotic and severely underweight. I had lost hope for another chance at recovery.

An amazing outreach team at the 125 project in Bristol got me into detox and secured me a place at Longreach. I didn’t feel confident, I have done many rehabs before and was scared I wouldn’t make it. I also felt I’d had enough help in my life and didn’t deserve anymore.

I remember my first group at Longreach was Trauma group and I was hit by the enormous loss and sadness I felt. It took some time to come to terms with my relapse and to commit to my recovery again, but Longreach was a safe and supportive environment to start that process. I found the mix of intensive group work and creative pursuits a good balance. I benefitted as much from making things in the creative groups and remembering how to play the fool in the theatre course as I did from the more challenging intensive therapy like writing my life story and one to one counselling sessions.

I started to slow down and be gentle with myself as well as to process the pain of my relapse whilst I was there. I was encouraged to stay on longer than I initially wanted to and stayed in Plymouth for three months of aftercare at Ocean Quay. I’m glad I took the time I did, it has stood me in good stead for my recovery.

When I left I threw myself into a 12 Step fellowship called DAA and gradually returned to work. I’m now 21 months clean again and am working back in my old job as a radio reporter, I’ve set up a DAA meeting near where I live and am dedicated to helping other women like me, I’ve also started setting up a social enterprise and am due to start voluntary work at a detox centre that I was in during my relapse.