“My name is Todd and I have been a service user of Chrysalis since 2019. For years people have pushed me to join a service to help with my drug addiction, but the more I was pushed the more anger I felt about the whole situation. Growing up I witnessed my father fall into the struggle of alcoholism. Reflecting one day on my upbringing, I realised I needed to change the cycle and not have my own children experience what I had to with my own father. This motivation brought me to many different services, but I found support like no other in Chrysalis Community Drug Project.
The services I received in Chrysalis involved me with one-to-one counselling and the peer led aftercare groups on a weekly basis. Just like everyone else who deals with addiction, my journey to recovery was not linear. At the two-month mark of my journey to becoming clean and recovery, I left Chrysalis. I did not expect someone to check up on me, because in most services they usually don’t follow up. I was surprised and blessed with the counselor I was assigned with, because even after leaving Chrysalis I had continuous support from them. Without that one person looking out for me and checking in daily, I don’t know where I would be now.
Chrysalis has helped me gain so much for myself, their support and guidance gave me my life back. The changes brought into my life from the aid of the organisation have allowed me to do things I couldn’t enjoy before recovery. Christmas 2021 was the first Christmas I felt present with my family. The
quality time I had with my own children is the goal I first set when walking through the doors of Chrysalis. The service has also helped me with other personal goals, like building up my confidence. Before attending the group meetings, and even for the first while in the sessions, I could not talk in any sort of crowd. My self-confidence was extremely low and my ability to talk was heavily affected by that. Over time, I was pushed by my counsellor to open to the group. The support I received from them has been tremendous for my overall confidence. Even today, I can talk to the small groups openly and have a better understanding of choosing my words when I speak.
I have learned so many ways to better myself and my life that I only want to encourage others who are like me. My brother and I experienced the same childhood, seeing our father struggle with alcoholism. I can’t keep pushing my brother towards recovery, because like me it doesn’t help. While it is hard not seeing my brother, I can only lead by example and put my recovery first as I have learned through Chrysalis.
While I no longer need the one-to-one counselling session, I still reach my personal goals through the peer led aftercare groups. What I love most about these groups is how much respect is given and received, and how confidentiality is the number one priority. It is because of that that I felt at ease to open up about my story and to relive what was going on for me at the time. I religiously attend the meetings on a Thursday evening and always look forward to them. I now view the groups as my source of counselling, to let off what is on my chest and to be an active listener for others like me.
From starting my recovery in May 2019 and continuing the service of Chrysalis, I am only growing as a person. Being 38 months clean, I have beaten the cycle of addiction and see myself as the father I always wanted to be for my children. I have my own job, my own hobbies like fishing, and I am smashing my personal goals, such as managing a football team. I can say whole-heartedly that my life has changed for the better and my confidence is building up and up with me. My recovery will always be an on-going process, and while I know people will say ‘it’s down to you’, I would not be where I am without the amazing support from Chrysalis.”