The Road to Recovery - Louise’s Story

The Road to Recovery - Louise’s Story

I've suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my adult life. Sometimes coping sometimes not but managed to function with daily life.


I hit rock bottom about 6 years ago. I was in a mentally abusive relationship with someone with addiction problems and I started drinking more and taking drugs with him. I can’t blame him as I was drinking and taking drugs before we met but I was definitely bingeing more frequently. I started abusing diazepam I was buying online. I hated myself and really didn't care if I lived anymore. I just took drugs to forget everything. The only reason I didn't end everything was my parents.


While all this was going on I was also getting bullied at work but didn’t receive the support or help I needed. I was trapped and my drug use was getting out of control. My life was a mess and I was just on the road of self-destruction. Wouldn't listen to anyone. I destroyed everything in my path. I put my parents through hell, hurt good friends and felt so much shame. I used to hate waking up the morning.


My mum realised I was getting drugs delivered to the house. She was the one who saved me. I finally had to admit there was a serious problem and I needed help. With the help from my family, friends and Northlands I stopped taking diazepam and was finally clean from all other drugs. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. To this day I still feel so much guilt and shame for my addiction and behaviour. 


Even though I wasn't using anymore I wasn't really living either. I had created a bubble which I lived in. I didn't go out, stopped caring about anything and totally cut myself off from the outside world. I gained so much weight and was really unhappy about my appearance. My idea of getting dressed was putting new pj's on which was never me cause anyone who knew me knew I loved shopping. lol.


One day I was lying in my bedroom flicking through Facebook and saw a post for ARC. I thought Id contact them and see what they had to offer, thinking it would probably cost a fortune or be for more athletic people but knew I had to do something. Gaz contacted me straight away and explained what was involved. I was excited, scared and hopeful all at the same time. I was finally gonna do something to get out of the rut I was living in.


Before the six week course started we all met up for a chat and a cuppa. I was so nervous but straight away Gaz and the boys put me at ease. It was such a relief to talk to other people who had battled with addiction (drugs/alcohol or both). We then had a group chat which was great. We all checked in on each other, sent silly pics and pushed each other on to keep going day by day.


Not gonna lie first night of training I was absolutely terrified. I was the only girl and felt very self-conscious. I hadn't been in the gym for years. As I had expected the training nearly kilt me but the boys never made me feel out of place. They didn't laugh we all just worked at our own pace. I totally felt one of the team. Gaz was so encouraging and positive. As the weeks went on I started to feel better about myself. Finding leaving my bubble a little easier and not being as scared to leave my comfort zone.


With my Depression I still have days where I can’t  leave the house. I'm a work in progress, i’ll never be perfect but I'm not using drugs anymore. I know that Gaz and the boys are always there. We're like a little dysfunctional family. lol.  I've found ARC has been amazing for me. I have some structure and routine which helps so much.


I cannot recommend ARC and Gaz's help enough. It’s a great program. I'm so grateful for this help and also the support from my parents (who I couldn't have done it without),Julia and my close friends. I still struggle but day by day it’s getting just that little bit easier xx


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