Every year we bid farewell to over a hundred clients who have successfully completed their treatment programme, built up several months of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, improved their health, rebuilt family ties and changed the whole direction of their life from one of dependence - on substances, on other people and on the state - to a life of independence and fulfilment.
Clients leave us equipped with inner resources of strength and resilience, confident that with good mutual support, staying grounded and self-aware, they can deal with whatever comes their way in life. They also leave us with new skills and experiences, new motivation, and with their feet firmly on the right path. This is what recovery means. It also means freedom:
Independence, freedom, peace, contentment...in fact, recovery is very personal, and means something unique to each individual. For some, the greatest achievement is that they wake up each morning happy to be alive: that they can look in the mirror and like the person they see: that they value the world and the people around them in a completely new way. Our clients are often strongly motivated to give something back to the world, to contribute and to help others.
Some of our ex-clients are in close contact with us, living locally and contributing to the network of support which helps others starting out on the journey from addiction to recovery. Some have come back to work for us in all kinds of skilled roles and they make a huge contribution to making the Nelson Trust what it is today.
Other clients we catch up with at our bi-annual Reunion where we invite them to share their recovery stories.
Over time we hope to build up a whole library of words, voices, images and film in which clients tell us about their journeys and achievements: if you have your own recovery story to share then please contact us!
A recent completion story from a client:
I remember sitting in this chair 6 months ago and it was the end of the line for me! I was stuck here! I had nowhere else to go. I was in a foreign country, I was homeless, family less as my family are half way around the world, I had no job, no financial support and all I had was me and the clothes on my back. This time I had nowhere to run. I had no-one even to help me continue down the destructive path I’ve been on for 10 years. But I chose to seek help. I did this finally for me with not a soul in the world backing me on this. I chose in a way to make it as hard as possible to not be able to leave. I stuck this out. I worked so feakin hard at this because I really wanted to change. I did this for me. The experiences I’ve had in treatment here at Nelson Trust have been phenomenal. Talk about the love, the support, the outward bounds! The laughter. The tears. The people here are without a doubt the most soul nourishing people I’ve met. Thank you to my peers, I’ve made friends for life, those come and gone and those still here. The recovery workers at the House. Thank You. You all are so dear and so special to me it’s unreal. The rest of the staff at Nelson Trust are truly outstanding at what you do. I’m forever thankful. I came with nothing but I’m now leaving with a lot. I’ve gained a family. A home here in England. My self-respect. I’ve now got a life that’s manageable. I’ve got the most amazing opportunities ahead of me now with work and college again in the future. I even got a little place I can call home waiting for me when I leave and it’s all because of you Nelson Trust and my stubbornness to not quit yet again!
Thank you so much. Let me end with a little story…
There’s a little girl and her grandfather on the beach that’s littered with stranded starfish dying as they have been washed up by the waves of the sea. The little girl is picking up one starfish at a time and throwing it back into the ocean. Her grandfather says to her, ‘my child, you won’t be able to save them all. Look, there’s thousands of them on the sand, it won’t make a difference’. The little girl picks up a starfish and tosses it back into the water and replies, ‘but Papa, it will make a difference to that one!’