A life transformed
Sally was a happily married mum to two children when her life started to spiral out of control. Her depression, stemming from an unloving childhood and which she had managed for years with anti-depressants, began to take a grip. Before long she was an alcoholic making multiple suicide attempts. Her marriage broke down and she suffered domestic violence at the hands of her next partner. Diagnosed with a broken collarbone after one particularly bad beating, she was given opiates for pain relief, which quickly led to a drug addiction. Next came a life on the streets, ‘sofa surfing’, grotty squats, dangerous hostels and prostitution to feed her habit.
She was in and out of contact with many different services. The social workers, outreach workers, hostel managers, police officers, doctors and nurses cared but were only able to treat the problem, for example her suicide attempt or offending behaviour. They couldn’t treat Sally as a whole person.
It was not until Sally met a drug outreach worker in Birmingham who addressed her homelessness at the same time as her drug and alcohol addiction and then depression that things started to change.
Today she has been completely ‘clean’ for four years. She is living independently in a flat in the city and working as an Expert by Experience, sharing her story both with others living through similar experiences and the workers who want to help.
She is also back in touch with her children, very slowly re- building the relationships she lost.
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