Peer Advisor: Kirsty – ‘I was given the tools I needed to then help myself’

Peer Advisor: Kirsty – ‘I was given the tools I needed to then help myself’ image

My name is Kirsty; I have 3 wonderful children, a partner of 15 years, and a lovely house in a lovely area, who would have thought that this time last year I had just completed 13 weeks in an alcohol rehab.

I always have drank a lot but steadily over the years the drinking got worse, being a full-time mum and trying to be (what I thought) a perfect mother with everything having to be just-so, the house, a full meal on the table every night, all this came at a cost and that was I needed more alcohol to get me to function to enable me to do this, although soon I became less able to function and my drinking was out of control, before I knew it Social Services were involved and I was made to leave the family home and ended up in a hostel, I had lost everything.

In May 2015 I started a 13 week residential alcohol rehab programme, although I was unsure I was ready (and in some ways still refusing to believe the drinking was that much of a problem) it really was the best decision I had ever made, I was helped and supported and given the tools I needed to then help myself.

When my stay in rehab came to an end I gradually regained all the things I had lost and was soon back home with my family, I was now determined that I had had my last drink and that after going through months of hell I wanted to help others who were going through similar issues, my support worker at rehab gave me information about St. Giles Trust and the Information, advice and guidance course, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to get a qualification, I applied, went for an interview and started the course the following week.

“When my stay in rehab came to an end I gradually regained all the things I had lost and was soon back home with my family, I was now determined that I had had my last drink”

The course was excellent and run by a trainer/assessor that kept it different and interesting for all participants, the support given throughout was second to none.  I was offered a place as a volunteer on the St Giles Trust CFO3 project (offender resettlement project at St Giles Trust) which ran alongside the Advice and Guidance course, this proved to be an excellent opportunity to help and support those who were leading chaotic lives and had multiple needs, my past experience and the skills I learned from the course has helped me to do this and gradually with support clients can start helping themselves the way I learned to do.

On 12th May 2016, a year after I walked through the doors of rehab I was delighted to begin my first day as a full time paid caseworker for the CFO3 project and I haven’t looked back, what a difference a year makes!