Coming soon…

Our 50th anniversary is over but there are so many people’s recovery stories to tell that we are going to keep posting…

From Monday the stories will have a naloxone theme to raise awareness of this life saving medicine. You can find out more about naloxone and how you can help them push government for a UK roll out on the Naloxone Action Group England website.

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Fatou’s Story

My mum died the day I was born. Complications and loss of blood. So it was just me and my dad. I owed him, he used to say.

He has been dead for 8 years now and I am slowly starting to believe that he won’t be able to touch me again and that perhaps I will have a chance to love and be loved instead of feeling dirty, ashamed and helpless.

Last year I met Bill at my doctors surgery. Bill worked for Blenheim. He was there every week when I would go to get my script. Every week I talked to him a little bit more and after 6 months I gave in to Bill and went to Blenheim. It was in the Wednesday Women’s group that I spoke about my father for the very first time. It was like the words took a hold of me, like I was in a silent movie and an actress was saying my lines. Then my tears took over and I didn’t want to stop until I had wept him out of me.

Last week I did something I thought I would never do. I went out on a date. We are going out again next week.

Fatou's story

Yasmin’s Story

I came to England from Iran over 30 years ago. My husband died ten years later and I felt completely alone. I didn’t know anybody else. Even though he used to beat me, it was not everyday and I loved him and missed him too much. I had never tried alcohol or drugs in my life before because I thought they were evil and I was too frightened. When my husband died I didn’t care about my life anymore so I started to smoke some cannabis and it helped to ease my feelings of emptiness. Drugs were easy to buy where I lived so I tried crack cocaine and that helped too.

I became ill and it was my doctor who contacted Blenheim. I didn’t want to be helped but after a while I preferred to go to the groups than be on my own with my cannabis and crack. Blenheim’s Women’s group helped me to accept that I deserved more from my life and that my husband was really the one who had needed help. After a while I was going to Blenheim everyday and to the weekend activities. It makes me laugh to think that my first friends in this country were all drug addicts.

Blenheim helped me through detox and rehab and my Blenheim volunteer helped me to move into my new supported housing. I am now drug-free for over 10 months and I still cannot believe that this has happened to me but I do believe that I am more happy and content than I have ever been before.

Yasmin's story

Chrissie’s Story

I had a happy childhood and did well at school and went on to study medicine. I met my husband, Simon when I was 28, we worked at the same health centre and we had our twin girls Freya and Isabelle 3 years later. I loved every part of my life.

I was away at a conference when it happened, when my life was ripped apart. I was told that it was instant, so they didn’t suffer, as if that was some comfort. The driver was convicted of dangerous driving, as if that was some comfort. No, the alcohol and prescription drugs were my only comfort, the only things that could numb the pain.

I was terrified about my first appointment at Blenheim. I walked past the door a hundred times that morning before taking a deep breath and eventually pressing the buzzer. Seconds later a friendly face opened the door and I stepped inside.

That was two years ago and with time and Blenheim’s support I was able to replace the alcohol and drugs with groups and key work sessions, recovery plans and voluntary work.

I have moved away now, it helps to be somewhere new – I still pop into Blenheim when I’m in London, the friendly face is not always the same but the welcome I get is – a comfort that I don’t want to change.

Chrissie's story

Syd’s Story

I was 18 when I started using drugs. Mum went into rehab and I picked up from where she left off. That’s what it seemed like anyway. I know I was scared of what would happen to mum and scared of being like her too but the drugs took that fear away.

I met Kelly when I went to visit mum. Mum had relapsed and was back in prison and Kelly was visiting her older sister. Our baby girl, Sharna was born a year later and it was then that I made up my mind to get clean. It just wasn’t that easy. I had nightmares about losing Kelly and Sharna, nightmares about ending up in prison like mum but I suppose I just wasn’t strong enough to stop. When I was arrested for intent to supply I knew I was close to living those nightmares for real.

Blenheim was my lucky break. I have now been abstinent for 84 days, from the day that Charlie, my son was born. I’ve got my first ever job interview next week. You don’t have to wish me luck, I’ve always had that and Blenheim has given me the confidence to live a better life so I have that now too.

Syd's story

Ian’s Story

Giving up cocaine was hard enough to imagine but I thought I’ve have more chance of dating Beyoncé than living without cannabis. I try not to think too much about the horrible things I’ve done and the people I’ve hurt along the way. Let’s just say that I was a nasty piece of work.

I’d always been mum’s favourite but even she couldn’t cope with me anymore. I know that telling me to leave home was the hardest thing she’s ever done, but she had no choice, I was messing up everyone’s life and she had to stop putting me first.

The more sofas I slept on the more drugs I used until my mate overdosed and didn’t recover. Instead of seeking out another mate’s sofa I went to Blenheim.

That was 8 months ago.

Blenheim were patient with me and then I was ready and I talked and listened and didn’t stop. You wouldn’t recognise me now, I’ve got a place at Uni and me and mum are back on track. I’m just waiting for that call from Beyoncé.

Ian's story

Monique’s Story

I met Jake on the ferry to Dover when I was 25. He was heading back home and I was just starting my holiday in England. It was a rough crossing and we were literally thrown together. I then spent my 3 week holiday in his flat in Camden. When I took the ferry back to France I was pregnant. A year later Jake was my husband, London was my home and we had a beautiful daughter, Cassie.

It was when Pierre, our son, was born 2 years later that I found out about Jake’s other wife and other life and when Jake left was when I started drinking. I kept the truth from everyone for quite sometime. I only spoke truthfully to the empty bottles that I lined up in the spare room.

My time in hospital, learning that my children had been taken into care was my rock bottom. The fear and loneliness was so strong, I didn’t think I could survive. A neighbour had heard my children crying and the police found me at the bottom of the stairs. I don’t know what happened.

Blenheim have helped me to believe in myself, I think for the first time ever. I know that I am strong and can count on myself now. I have my children back, my confidence back and I have had my rock bottom and I will never be there again. Merci beaucoup Blenheim.

Monique's story