change, grow, live – health and social care charity

Zoe's story*

I was in a homeless hostel with no money, no friends or family and on the verge of dying from abusing alcohol. I felt that I had nothing to keep going on for. The staff at the hostel arranged my first appointment at change, grow, live (CGL) for me to attend and actually went with me on the day. I was very sceptical about going as I had attended other services before whilst I was on an ATR and also whilst in the women’s refuge and these had just been paper pushing exercises. All I did was to turn up to fill in alcohol diaries which didn’t resolve my issues.

At my first appointment with CGL I saw a worker who was really friendly and who seemed really interested in me being there. We laughed a lot as well as doing paperwork and talking about a lot of serious issues. I was given a list of groups that I could attend at the centre.

I went to every single one of the groups for several months during and after becoming abstinent and I have met many wonderful people, some who have become my closest friends. The best parts of going to the centre was feeling like I finally belonged somewhere and being able to talk openly and be understood. I realised that I was well on the road to recovery when I finally accepted that I would never be able to drink alcohol again and that it didn’t scare me.

I have been offered loads of opportunities which I have taken. I have completed the peer mentoring course, helped to set up an allotment project, given a speech at the CGL conference. I now volunteer for CGL and I am passionate about recovery. I get to travel all over the country in my role and thoroughly enjoy it. I am now in excellent health, have no money worries and have wonderful friends.

I love my life now and am so thankful to have been given a second chance. I have learnt so my different ways of coping with my issues and feel that I am in full control of my life now.

*Name has been changed to protect identity

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