Picks of 2015 – A Pompey State of Mind

This week we’re revisiting some of our best pieces from 2015. Today we revisit some of the best writing about mental health and recovery on S&C from 2015.

LEIGH WESTMORE IMAGE Maggie Sawkins article2

Maggie Sawkins &  Leigh Tora Westmore –  Altered States: Legal Highs, Substance Use and Recovery in Portsmouth

“I had to choose between taking drugs or being a father to my children. I chose the responsible and more difficult path. I’m grateful the police turned up. If they hadn’t, I’d have carried on until I died. I’d given up all hope.

“There had previously been times when I’d lived successfully without drugs, so going back to a life of addiction was a painful place to be in.  I wish I’d had the courage to ask for help earlier – but it didn’t happen.”

Southsea seafront

Rikki May – Anxiety: The Illness I Left Behind

“At my lowest, I couldn’t even visit the supermarket due to regular panic attacks, and took an unplanned 9 months off work, though of course I didn’t know it would be nine months at the start. I was a recluse who barely left the house. My relationships suffered and I was stuck in a downward spiral of mental illness that I thought would never end. This is the story of how I overcame anxiety, putting it in the past and moving on with my life – a life in recovery.”

Leaf at Rock Gardens

Sindy Prankard – The Practically Unparentable

“All children, even teenagers, require boundaries. They need something to push against as they find their way in the world. Parents, and school to a degree, provide these boundaries in normal circumstances, but how do you impose rules on someone who is unpredictable? When a teenager has no respect for consequences the fear of the outcome of their actions is no longer a deterrent. How do you deal with an adolescent who may self-harm, run away from home or even overdose? How do you parent the practically unparentable?”

Southsea grafitti

Kieran Judge – A Life in the Days of Kieran, Recovery Worker

One of my main motivators is helping people at the ARC Rehab Centre in Cosham. This is a surprise to me because I’ve always believed I’m not a ‘people person’. In truth, helping others helps me in my continued existence.

My life seems fairly mundane now in comparison to my chaotic drinking/using days. This used to bug me early on in recovery but now it’s ‘life on life’s terms’, as they say.

Southsea grafitti

Jane Muir – A Version of Death

“I used to think that because I didn’t drink during the day that I couldn’t really be an alcoholic. I chose to overlook the fact that the bottle and a half of vodka I had consumed the previous day, or in the evening before I went to sleep, was still in my system. I owe my liver a profound apology – it didn’t have a minute off for years.”