I remember lying on my prison bed thinking about the violent relationship I had been in, the physical and emotional abuse I endured and the effect it had on my children.  I was scared, felt depressed, and turned to drugs to escape my reality. Very soon it got worse and I started selling drugs to feed my own habit. I was finally arrested and sent to prison.

That was seven years ago. So much has changed since.

Prison changed my life thanks mainly to the counselling and support I received through Holyoake. My counsellor helped me to believe that no matter how dark my past, there was always hope. I remember her telling me that it was never too late to change, to let change evolve, to develop a good relationship with myself, and to make time for family and friends.

Over time I learnt to recognise my triggers and to develop strategies to get me through the tough times. Each time I made progress, I grew more confident and felt encouraged to not give up. This is not easy and I continue to work on it.

I completed my parole a few months ago and am more confident now. I feel stronger to take on the many problems I still face and am grateful for the continued support from Holyoake.

I am sharing my story because I hope it will help others who may be in a similar situation. Holyoake taught me to hope and never give up, and I’m sure they can help you too.

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