Volunteer Jeanette’s inspirational recovery journey
This is a special guest post from my volunteer and friend Jeanette who has kindly written this to share her own recovery story. She volunteered supporting the training I delivered whilst working for Birmingham DAAT and now I’m pleased to say for my very own Inspire Health and Mind. Having someone with real life experience involved in training people to understand is so valuable and Jeanette is another example of why anyone with a dependency past or present should be given opportunities and never be given up on.
“Write something for the blog” says Stacey!! Hmmmm, now then where should I begin?
Well, my name is Jeanette, I am 51 years old, a recovering alcoholic, and have been dry for just about 2 years and 6 months.
I shied away from the word ‘recovery’ for a really long time, the reason being, in my mind an alcoholic never recovers, the best we can hope for is to ‘control it’. Then I did an Open University course on mental health, and found out what ‘in recovery’ actually meant. Basically it is used to describe a life that’s becoming an improvement on the past, a life that has quality. I can live with that….so now I agree, ‘I am in recovery’ and loving it.
I couldn’t say that recovery really began for the first 2 years though, that was a time where I had a lot of trial and error with ‘life and identity’…coming out of an addiction that has been a large part of you for a very, very long time, coming to terms with the things you have done and said, and the hurt you have caused leaves an almighty empty space inside…..I was a person without goals or purpose, an empty shell needing to be filled, a personality waiting to develop…..
Well here I am, on my 4th OU course (working with children, young people and adults) and volunteering with Stacey’s Inspire Health and Mind. My life is full of new experiences and new goals, I am learning about things that I never would have even dreamed about…because they weren’t important in my life, the bottle was my life…. I’m using my experiences of alcohol and addiction to create awareness of the ease with which addiction can take over…..it moves in when you’re not looking and it doesn’t ever want to leave. Doing what I do makes my past a little easier to bear….without it, I wouldn’t be able to share a story that so many are afraid to tell….as for my future? Who knows what’s next, I don’t, but I do know I will embrace the challenges and changes that may come my way, not hide from them behind a bottle…
An inspiration I’m sure you’ll all agree. What she didn’t mention is that she was nominated and won the DAAT Award for outstanding contribution in November too. I’ve finally convinced Jeanette to join Twitter so you can follow her @JeanetteSiret.
Peace, love, empathy,
Posted on February 10, 2011, in Alcohol, Drugs and Alcohol, Inspire Health and Mind, People, Recovery and tagged Alcohol, Alcoholism, Inspire Health and Mind, Mental health, Open University, Recovery, Service User Involvement, Volunteering. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.