2020 – The year of the lockdown, the year I got fit, decided to throw my passions to the wind for a second and train to be a volunteer.
For everyone that knows me – alcohol awareness is something that is so important to me – because of my situation growing up – and loosing my mum at such a young age due to alcohol.
I have been receiving help and guidance from Nacoa since I found them in 2018, I have had bouts of frustration with not fully understanding my trauma and the illnesses it had caused me for a number of years and through GP’s medication seemed to numb the issue but I wasn’t present, nor was I dealing with my own issues.
I had made shitty choices, poorly communciated with people about my needs and my expecations, and generally didn’t take care of myself. I decided one evening to google the effects of loosing a parent due to alcoholism – hence how I found Nacoa.
If I am honest, I remember it well. My husband (or fiancé at the time) was out drinking, I was home alone and I felt on the brink of a breakdown. I had all these feelings and emotions and every time I reached out for help even to professionals it felt like I was talking to a brick wall. Google brought me to the homepage of Nacoa, I used the helpline, and read through some of the shared experiences on the website and felt like a brick had been lifted from my chest.
I could breathe.
I saw in front of my eyes – people who had shared experiences identical to mine, and to me it was unheard of – a familiar trait of having an alcoholic in the family is the huge secrecy that comes with it – so to find people like me, was amazing.
The only way I can describe it would be to say I had lived on a dessert island, and been able to wave at people from a distance but never actually speak to anyone clearly – until Nacoa, then it was as if I had been found.
Shortly after this, I got more connected online with them, and went on LBC to speak about my mum and the impact it had had on me growing up. After doing this I realised the help I needed had been with me all this time, I didn’t know myself, I was aimlessly wandering through life, following the pattern of other people and the normal expectations.
Mum wouldn’t have wanted that, she could have wanted me to be happy, and fulfilled, and to help people.
So I decided to look into volunteering.
2 years later, I am a trained Nacoa helpline councillor, although due to COVID – it will be a while before its safe for me to go to Bristol to help out for a day or two, I’ve got my speaker training coming up with them too – and alongside this I am volunteering locally with “We are with you (click here for the website” to become a drug and alcohol recovery support worker.
The main point of this blog, is I’ve been using my other website for my writing to document my journey through this, and as I don’t share it publicly (yet!) I decided I would get my old site back up.
Any links I have that are helpful I will always hyperlink, if you need help or would like advice or someone to talk to with regards to anything I have spoken about please feel free to drop me a message or an email – I can’t always promise I will be able to solve all your problems, but with my new found skills I can signpost you to places that can if I can’t and I will always be there to listen if you need me.