We speak to people who have lived experience of recovery from addiction, people who have been affected by addiction and those working in the addiction and recovery field—in its many contexts. There is a lot of information about addiction, but people get better and their stories need to be visible to give others hope.
Recovery is not a linear path from A to B, it’s more of a winding road and we want to explore those journeys and get those stories heard, because our stories have power.
In the first of the series, Huseyin speaks to Prof David Clark. On his journey, David has been a neuroscientist, an addiction recovery advocate (he developed the grassroots initiative Wired In), and a developer of initiatives focused on the healing of intergenerational trauma amongst Aboriginal peoples. He recently published the eBook Our Recovery Stories: Journeys from Drug and Alcohol Addiction. From Henley-on-Thames, UK to Perth, Australia, Huseyin and David are friends from the field, separated by many years and miles! [I have edited this podcast into 12 short films which you can find here – DC]
While touching on past highlights, the team outline what the future looks like following a recent brand strategy exercise resulting in an upcoming re-brand and website launch at the end of May. The new site will be jam-packed with recovery resources, clubs, programmes and events – giving people lots of ways explore what works for them in their recovery journey.Towards Recovery sets out to help people find the right path for themselves. In recovery, the team firmly believe that there is still more right in each of us, than wrong. People aren’t there ‘to be fixed’, but listened to. And when things may not be going as we hoped, we say “Come in, let’s have a chat.
Justin sits in the interview seat and talks to Huseyin about the joy of starting something new. Justin moves on to explore Huseyin’s thirst for information, describing him as someone who always ‘puts himself in the way of inspiration’ – constantly driving change and finding innovative solutions to challenging situations. From visiting his Dad in Wormwood Scrubs Prison as a child to holding those same keys as a Drug Action Coordinator years later, Huseyin talks openly about some of his traumatic childhood experiences and how these have influenced his life in recovery.
Huseyin reflects on the inspiration behind starting Towards Recovery and his hopes for the future as the organisation continues to grow.
“First impressions count. We don’t think more of ourselves than we ought to and we don’t position ourselves as ‘know it alls’…. We believe in connections and through kindness we aim to cultivate citizenship, not a client list.”
Like many children who grow up with alcohol as the backdrop to their youth, Leo learn’t how to navigate an adult world at a young age. In this episode, Justin explores what might have been useful for that young boy to hear.
Leo has been with Towards Recovery since 2012 and continues to be a regular contributor to our groups and events. Leo now also uses his lived experience to support others and works with organisations like DrugFAM who help people affected by their loved ones addiction.
How can we nurture ourselves and what experiences can we draw on to bring us back to a nurturing space? In this episode, Justin talks to Sarah as she reflects on the concept of OK’ness and how she takes comfort from the voice of her late father and turns it into a positive driving force in her life.
Sarah continues to be a positive voice within the Towards Recovery community and has recently started to use her experiences in a number of positions with mental health charities, including her role as an advocate for others.
Taking inspiration from ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ film, Sarah brings comfort to others with the idea that “everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.”