“I’ve been clean nearly 7 years. If I look back at myself it’s like I am a completely different person now. I used to sell drugs to people – I actually got into drugs because I got told by police, when coming in to school, this will kill you.”
Louie became involved with Faithworks Recovery in 2019 when he did The Recovery Course. He explained: “I started going to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and it wasn’t for me because people talking about their addictions made me feel like I wanted to use. So I had a word with my probation officer at the time, and said I need to get somewhere that’s more faith based.
I suffer with social anxieties so when I first started going to the group it was difficult. Even today I did mindfulness and meditation before I leave the house to get here. I got welcomed in and slowly I came out of my shell a bit.
With other groups it’s all about woe is the drug. Where as we talk about being in recovery, rather than addiction, at Faithworks. It’s less detrimental to your mindset.
I really enjoy helping at The Toastie Club (The Recovery Day) – we come here and we hardly talk about recovery, most of the time we come here and have a day without addiction. We do a quiz, which helps with brain training – healthy mind, healthy body. The walks they help, it’s nice to get out in the sun and even in the rain! The people you meet are always really friendly.
When asked how different Louie’s life is since coming to Faithworks, he replied: “I suppose I am more open now – I have really come out my shell. Before, I was in Weymouth and surrounded by triggers and people that I knew were in addiction. Where as I’m not interested anymore.”
Louie has joined the training course at Faithworks’ Carpenters Workshop. “I started making a jewellery box. I do abstract geometric art and they’ve started laser printing that onto wood which I’ve been using to give people as unique birthday presents.
I also volunteer at the Hope And More charity shop every Saturday. Being the face of something – I never saw myself doing that. Coming to the groups you’re used to the same people turning up where as in the charity shop, different people are turning up every day. Coming to Faithworks has actually helped me to interact with people just coming up to me.
I’ve got mental health issues and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I still have days where I think dark thoughts about myself but I can brush them off a lot easier now. Where as having the faith and the people around me – the better I do, the more I see that they appreciate how I have changed. And that does boost my confidence.
If I look back at myself it’s like I am a completely different person now. It’s strange to see that change in myself let alone that other people can say they can witness that. The amount I have changed in just a short time is just mad!”