‘A Spire Right’ Success Story
*Carla attended the Community Trust’s ‘A Spire Right’ substance misuse programme after being diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD and becoming a virtual recluse. Now, two-and-a-half years later, she is socialising, working at the Community Trust and credits the Trust with transforming her life. Carla tells her story…
I was under the Mental Health Services and I had really bad anxiety, which meant spending a lot of time at home. I had a breakdown and spent six months in my house, so I wasn’t getting out and meeting people. I didn’t connect with anybody.
I tried different things like yoga, cooking and painting. They were all the type of things that you think would work, but they didn’t work for me.
I’d got a really good support worker who contacted the Community Trust and convinced me to come along, which was just the best thing that I ever did. I was here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and for the first time in a long time, I had some structure and routine and made friends. I could be me.
I did the first course, which was for eight weeks and then I asked them if I could do it again. I did that and from there I ended up doing some work in the café in Chester’s Den.
People don’t talk about mental health, so you spend the majority of your life acting like you haven’t got any problems. Then the pressure starts to build because the mask falls off and you can’t keep up the pretence. I don’t have to think about that here because they know who I am and what I’ve been through.
I’m now doing what I did prior to getting poorly with my mental health, which is working in finance. I do two days a week working in an accounts department. I’ve done my Level 3 in VAT and I’d like to become a fully qualified accountant.
I’d urge anyone who is in a similar position to the one I was in to come here. Don’t be afraid and don’t think you’re alone. You’ll make friends for life. The programme is something that should continue forever. It should be a massive part of everybody’s recovery.
It gave me the chance to accept who I am – because I struggled with that – have a life again and do what I’m good at, which is working. I’m also socialising and doing all the things that I used to do.
It’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I think it’s the best thing that could ever happen to anybody who’s struggling with mental health or struggling with any form of wanting to self-destruct, feeling that they’re no good or they won’t be accepted.
This is my safe place. There’s always someone to talk to and they’ll always come and ask you if you’re alright. They just care. You don’t get the impression that they’re just doing it because they get paid to do it. They genuinely care and they genuinely want you to succeed.
To find out more about the ‘A Spire Right’ programme, which is funded by Derbyshire County Council, please visit here: https://www.spireitestrust.org.uk/health-wellbeing/substance-misuse-recovery-programme/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Name changed to protect her identity.