Brand-02

Everything changed for us. Slowly I started using drugs and by 14 I was injecting myself daily with heroin.

My mum and her partner would go off and not come home for 3 or 4 days trying to make some money. Sometimes when social services used to come and knock the door we’d be hiding behind the curtains. We wouldn’t open the door because the house was in a mess. I remember at one point we had a chicken called Emily, two dogs, five cats, and fish. On a good day my Mum would clean up and let social services in and everything looked and seemed fine. We were well dressed but it was all false. Looking back, it was a really bad situation.

I was at my lowest point when I was sleeping rough for 2 years. I was still using. I met someone and he asked me to move in with him. I just got to a point in my life where I thought I don’t want to live like this.

 

I had pleurisy on my lungs due to the cocaine. I also had an abscess on my foot from injecting - it went black so I was hospitalised for about a week and they said I could lose my leg. They also said: “Did you know you’re pregnant?” I couldn’t believe it. 

I left the baby’s father and just thought with a clear mind that I can do this. I couldn’t live with myself bringing up a child the way I was raised. I didn’t want that. I thought the only way I can do it, is to do it myself. 

Over the 5 weeks before I gave birth I started doing things myself: I washed every day, I went to my appointments; I felt empowered. I really found myself. I thought ‘this feels good, this is what I want.’

After I had my first baby they put me in a hostel, a baby hostel. It was just me and him. I kept to myself. They then found me housing but I was too scared that I would go straight back onto drugs. So they moved me to a more permanent supported hostel and I was there for 9 months.

They offered me a place again and this time I took it. I really didn’t think I would cope on my own, I thought I would go straight back on drugs. But I have been clean ever since.

When I had my little girl two and half years ago, I went to a parenting group with Action for Children. There they said they wanted people to share their story. They heard mine and wanted me to share and help others.

I go to the project to support other people and help others who are in situations similar to mine, and show them how my life got turned towards the positive.

I feel very proud of myself.

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