Member Case Study

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Member Case Study Six

I have suffered with Mental Health since I was a very young girl. I have only recently been diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder, and the doctors have finally got my medication right.

I started drinking alcohol when I was just 13 yrs. old. This was due to very traumatic events. When I tried my first alcoholic drink it tasted strange but I just carried on anyway. After a couple more glasses I felt funny, woozy, light headed but despite all this I didn't feel so upset and depressed, I felt good. Over the years, glasses would turn into 1 bottle, then to 2 bottles etc. Alcohol was my escape from trauma, abuse and anything that hurts.

When the alcohol stopped having great effect I then started smoking cannabis as well. The combination of the two was great, it would make everything ok, or so I thought when in actual fact my life was rapidly falling apart but I couldn't see that.

When I turned 41 yrs. old, I finally for the first time ever admitted to myself that I had an alcohol and cannabis addiction. I went to CAN at first; I attended there once a week for my appointments. CAN got me into a rehabilitation centre for alcohol and cannabis. After detox, CAN referred me to Bridge, when things went wrong I would still reach for the bottle.

Caroline did my Bridge induction, I was very scared but Caroline was great at reassuring me things would be ok. Through my time at Bridge I have had one to one sessions with Caroline. On the days that I drank Caroline would remind me of all the positives that I had achieved which would really help, but would also kick my butt (lol) and remind me of what I would be throwing away if I drank. Caroline encourages me to come into Bridge even if I wanted to sit without talking.

Caroline has supported me throughout getting my childhood social services records. This was hard to read, because of all the trauma that had happened, but Caroline was there to support me through all of this. In getting my social service reports, although very upsetting, gave me information about my life that I didn't know. This is where I found out medical information about myself that I didn't know. I took this new information to Campbell House and was then diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Bridge referred me to a counsellor that deals with parents whose children have been adopted. I had my first child when I was 12, I had him adopted while I was in care. Even though when I got older I had other children, I never forgot about my son and through counselling I am now in the process of trying to find him, I am being supported by the Post Adoption Team, counselling, and Bridge.

Julia Lee has helped with my housing issues; I had a notice for possession of my flat and had to attend court. Through Julia's support and complying with what the council said. My notice was put on hold provided that I kept up the payments of rent and to produce evidence for my claim to be reviewed from when it had been stopped. Julia helped me attend meetings with my rent officer and housing officer to set up a payment plan for my council tax, utility bills and my rent. Julia also referred me to the tenancy support team at NPH to help with downsizing, reducing items I had collected and applied for help towards cost of removals for when I move. I have now been offered a 1 bedroom flat which I am really excited about and make that fresh start and no debt.

Thanks to my hard work, support from Caroline, Bridge, CAN, Counselling and Campbell House, I have now been 11 months without alcohol, I still have the occasional smoke of cannabis, my life is much better. I volunteer at Bridge and help Caroline with Arts and Craft sessions. I feel more confident in myself that I can achieve things, I still need support. I would like to say thank you to Caroline and Bridge for all their support x

Bridge Substance Misuse Programme Ltd is a Social Enterprise, company registered number 06221493. Registered office 63c Gold Street, Northampton, NN1 1RA.