Eimear’s Story

“My name is Eimear and I have been attending Chrysalis over the past 13 and ½ years. When I was first introduced to Chrysalis, I was still actively using drugs, but I was still welcomed in to begin my recovery. After dealing with addiction for 35 years, I was told of Chrysalis and wanted to make a change.

I felt lost and confused and when walking through the doors for the first time, I was very relucent to begin treatment. I was first introduced to my counsellor, who I cannot thank enough for the work he put in with me. I arrived feeling heavy anger and as if I couldn’t trust anyone. The first 12 months into my recovery were the toughest ones by far. I was still in my addiction and held a lot of emotions. It was difficult transitioning from isolating myself to opening to the counselor as well as strangers in the peer support groups. Seeing it in myself and others around me, Chrysalis helped me come out of my shell. They brought me back into reality, and initially I was very nervous because I never knew how to deal with responsibility before. But the guidance and strength passed over from Chrysalis have shaped me into the person I stand as now. I don’t know where I would be without them.

I was able to easily find a routine, as I made it a priority early in to attend the Tuesday and Thursday peer support groups. Before COVID-19, these group meetings were more than just talks with people experiencing similar struggles. These meetings began with such a welcoming presence and held
strongly to having that community spirit. Attending these meetings gave me guidance and support I have never received before. They pushed my motivation, along with my counsellor, to go forward with my treatment and to progress into my recovery from my addiction. Another aspect that stuck out to me was the element of respect. Respect for me is only given when I feel it’s given to me, so that has always been a key element for me throughout my journey. Even at the beginning of my treatment, I was still active and yet I held the same respect as a person who was clean. The non-judgementalism of Chrysalis allows for such an open and honest space. This is seen right through all the staff and service users. However, it wasn’t until I became clean myself that I could see life from a whole new perspective. I slowly came out of my shell and could see how others began too as well. The rule of ‘what’s aid here stays here’ is of the upmost regard and importance for all service users and staff, which is how the respect level is so successful.

Through Chrysalis I was given a new lifeline, the work put in from this organisation has allowed me to become not only clean from drug use, but progress massive leaps into my recovery. So much so that I am on the road to giving back the knowledge I have learned. A great emphasis in this service is feeding on the knowledge of the people who come behind you. We have all felt the dread of the assessments and the first meetings and sessions, so we can all empathize with newcomers. I have never heard of someone though come into Chrysalis and not feel welcomed, in a safe and peaceful environment, to let go and relief of what is on their minds. I would even recommend Chrysalis to my worst enemy.

Everyone’s process of recovery is different, but we are not treated differently because of it. We have all learned to take one day at a time and are taught healthy coping mechanisms. The stable and calm environment of Chrysalis opens the room to have honest and real conversations between people, whether that’s in the one-to-one counselling sessions or in the peer support meetings. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to turn my life around, which is made possible from the help and guidance I received from Chrysalis. This has motivated me to give back to the community, and I only ever want to spread the word of the work done by Chrysalis for the vulnerable people in the community. I have the upmost respect for those a part of Chrysalis and have found my voice and the ability to be comfortable in my own skin. Recovery is always an on-going process, but I hold it to such importance and always know that the evergreen support of Chrysalis is standing no matter how long I have been in recovery.”