As Recovery Month is drawing to a close. We wanted to put on another inspirational story. This is Rachel’s journey. We hope you enjoy the read!

Before coming to Changes UK, I was living in a small town in Wales, I was basically living a double life. To the outside world I looked fine, as I worked and looked like I lived a “normal” life. Behind closed doors I was using daily and spent all my time alone in my room. I would cry hating who I was. I couldn’t see a way out and I believed that this was all my life would ever be.

Too scared to ask for help, this continued for many years. I lied to my family, friends and to my colleagues at work. My whole life was centered around getting my drugs so I could continue to live this fake existence. I knew something had to change and I went to the local drug and alcohol support group to try and get help.

After a lot of begging and pleading they eventually agreed to get me funding to go to a residential rehab. I spent 6 months in the rehab which was the most frightening experience of my life, as so many years of drug abuse had left me completely terrified of reality. I spent many of those months just trying break out of the crippling anxiety I felt.

After I completed rehab I knew I needed ongoing support and made the decision not to return to Wales but to go to Changes UK in Birmingham. I was still very anxious and scared and knew what would happen if I returned to Wales. I’d heard about Changes UK whilst in rehab, and made the phone call to Steve Hatch to do an assessment. Changes could offer me supported housing and a daily program at Recovery Central.

I arrived at Changes still very scared and anxious but was greeted with warmth straight away. I settled in and it wasn’t long until I felt like I belonged there. I had an amazing key worker Jacqui, whom I had a beautiful relationship with – she helped me to believe in myself and showed me how to love myself. My self-worth grew every day and I slowly began to gain confidence. I also had constant support from Marion, my psychologist, who helped me to break down my negative core beliefs that I’d carried for so long.

I moved through the stages of Changes and began volunteering for them in Friends Kitchen their café, baking cakes and also on the reception. I spent 18 months with Changes and had continuous support from them.

I’ve recently began full time employment in a detox unit, whom I had been volunteering for previously. I absolutely I adore my job and feel so blessed to have been given the opportunities that I have.

I have my own place, and my own car and the most amazing beautiful people around me. I don’t feel lost anymore and have so much faith in myself and for my future…

Changes were my family when I came into recovery and I’m blessed to have been part of an organisation that helps people to get their lives back ❤️