Being a service user has brought me into contact with so many talented, able people with such positive qualities. I appreciate being able to help and support others; I love to see people using their talents and I encourage people to become involved. Involvement has been my personal key to recovery. Being part of Recovery Partners is the best job I’ve ever had. In my spare time I write music – one day I may write us a theme tune!
I believe recovery is for everyone if given the right opportunities. I try to focus on the positives in life and take responsibility for the choices I make. The 5 Recovery Pathways help: Choice, Hope, Empowerment, Environment and Spirituality. As peers we can support others to make the most of life. I love working with everyone – the peers who use the service and those who provide it – what a great bunch of people! I hope in future we can reach out to even more people and work wider afield.
Recovery is not just focusing on recovering from illness; it’s a wholistic process involving connection with people, celebrating their strengths, finding out what is important to them and starting with one or two key steps on the pathway. This might be joining the local library, or going on a bus for the first time in 20 years. I get satisfaction and comfort myself, from reaching out to others.
Working with Recovery Partners has helped me with my own recovery. Every session, I remind myself how I look after myself too. I always do the simple things every day: eat, drink, exercise, sleep, talk. I also make time for the things that inspire and relax me – playing games, building computers, meditation, yoga and spirituality. I know I have helped make a real difference to people – this is the best feeling in the world.
I’m determined to try new experiences even when I know this will be challenging for me. This is what helps me on my own recovery journey. I get as much support as I can, and talk about my worries to others when i can. I meditate when possible, and go for long walks. I enjoy listening, sharing my experiences and offering my support to help others with recovery.
It’s important to have people to talk to who won’t judge you. We all need to be able to recognise our own qualities and our strengths – and to believe we deserve a better future, and are capable of having a better future. The support I received from others when I was unwell is what got me through it. Without this support I would never have recovered, and now I’m using my own experiences to help other people. I’m constantly amazed at the extraordinary strength and resilience people have. Every peer’s story is inspiring and encourages me to continue on my own recovery journey.