Page 9 - DDN 1403 web

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March 2014 |
| 9
Opening session
world, and I think that governments should really be taking notice.’
David Lawson
of DISC’s peer-led recovery community, BRIC (Building Recovery in
Communities), then told the conference what had led him to user involvement. ‘My
childhood was quite happy – I enjoyed school and sports and I went on to be a sea
cadet. I wanted to join the marines. So how did I go from that to living in the back
of a shed in Grimsby?’
He’d been in and out of prison since 1986, he said, and as his drug use grew so
did the length of the sentences. ‘I knew that I was going to die. All my relationships
had been ruined, and I felt safe in prison.’ After he was released, however, he made
the decision to engage with treatment services.
‘Accepting help was my first step on the road to recovery. Recovery is everywhere,
all around us. We might not see it but it continues to grow, and everybody’s journey
is different. I reduced in the community – with the right support it is possible to
detox in the community. I’m also a member of NA and I used to go around saying
that was the only way to do it, but it has to be about choice. It’s horses for courses
– that’s the only way – and as I’ve healed my family have needed time to heal as
well. I’ve become more responsible and started to build up relationships with them.’
Part of how that had happened had been through user involvement, he stressed.
‘It’s all about relationships for me. For many years I distanced myself – through guilt
and shame – and it was difficult for me to have relationships. All of that’s changed
now, through recovery. It’s also about looking after myself, because I’ve damaged
my body. But I want to live.
‘The last thing I wanted to do was work in services, believe me,’ he told
delegates. ‘It can be challenging, we can be adult babies – we want what we want
and we want it now – but I get so much from working with people. You’re all flying
the flag for recovery, and showing that recovery is possible. We made this happen.’
‘There are so many
positives – excuse the
pun – about knowing
your status. Knowledge
is power...’
‘I enjoyed school and
sports and I went on to
be a sea cadet... So how
did I go from that to
living in the back of a
shed in Grimsby?’
‘It’s very challenging for
young people in this
country to have a voice
in terms of what they
want for their recovery.’