RECOVERY STORY 11
Lucy is a 24 year old female who lives with her partner and together they care for their two children. Lucy also has one daughter from a previous relationship whom she has no contact with. Additionally she has a son who is in temporary foster care who she has access to three times per week. Prior to accessing Moving On, she had a history of serious substance use since her early teens using alcohol, benzodiazepine and cannabis very heavily and very problematically during this period. She also has a history of diagnosed depression and anxiety linked to a traumatic event in her past. Lucy had various substance use related criminal convictions and it was while she was carrying out community service for a previous conviction she decided to do something to make her life happier and start to work on a better future for her and her family. After speaking to her working in social services and with help from her statutory drugs worker at IIDS, Lucy was referred to Moving On. She was supported by Moving On to find ways to deal with her her cannabis use by reducing quantities, variants and found help managing her emotional health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Lucy states that when she was first taken to Moving On by her worker she was very apprehensive about accessing and her anxiety made worse the concerns she had in her mind about being around other substance users, fearing she may have known some of them from her past. However, Lucy stated that once she had attended her first group activity she was relieved as the other service users were friendly, straight and supportive of each other’s recovery efforts and she felt welcome. She was pleased that she was allowed to choose the gender of her key-worker and says she felt happier having a female worker who she felt could better understand what she had been through in life.
Lucy attended Moving On for an 8 month period in total and throughout this time she and her key worker worked together to formulate and update her own personalized Recovery Action Plan. She identified her key priority areas she wished to work on at her time at Moving On, setting SSMART goals, and identifying her personal strengths and the various assets available to her to help her achieve her goals. Lucy initially accessed Moving On by only attending one to one key working sessions but as time passed and as she increased in confidence she progressed on to accessing art therapy, complementary therapy, acu-detox, cooking on a budget classes and our cannabis recovery workshop.
Through her time at Moving On Lucy reported improvements in various key areas of her life. Firstly, in the area of substance use where she gradually reduced and eventually ceased using cannabis entirely. Lucy speaks about how she is sleeping better without cannabis and that her motivation has increased since she stopped. Throughout her time at Moving On she provided regular voluntary drug samples to her statutory drug worker for court reports in relation to custody issues with her son. As Lucy consistently provided results that were negative for drugs she is no longer required to access drug services. She says that no longer having to attend drug services is a huge relief as it means that she has the freedom to attend college and move on with her life.
Lucy also reported huge improved emotional health and wellbeing she experienced at her time at Moving On and says that accessing the various individual and group based activities available (acu-detox, complementary therapy, art therapy, gym activity) helped her deal with stress and anxiety in her everyday life as well as improved her sleep patterns. Moreover, Lucy says that being around positive like-minded peers helped her learn again to be comfortable in groups and with others.
Lucy also felt an improvement in the area of occupying her time and fulfilling goals, stating that the structure that Moving On provided to her day and help identifying her personal strengths and abilities has allowed her her to focus on her future goals. Over the time at Moving On Lucy rediscovered a passion for art and produced creative pieces of work at the art classes and at home in her spare time. Through accessing the complementary therapies (and by having discussion with Moving On’s complementary therapist) Lucy has re-established her interest in studying/working in the area of health and beauty. Consequently, as part of her Recovery Action Plan Eve identified accessing further education as a goal she aimed to achieve when she disengaged from Moving On.
Today (December 2017) Lucy attends college studying beauty therapy and is positive about her future. She says she is looking forward to gaining employment and being a positive role model for her children. Presently Lucy is engaging with Moving On in an aftercare basis meeting her key worker for a coffee and a chat each month or more frequently when required and occasionally drops in to use the IT facilities. Lucy values the availability of aftercare as helpful to support her transition to college life as she works to better her life and future..