Nadia Essalhi has been a resident in Ashleigh House for five and a half months. She is currently at the senior level of the programme and is the Department Head in the Ashleigh House kitchen. Nadia is in the process of finding housing with Coolmine’s help. She will not leave Ashleigh House until appropriate housing has been found for her and her two children.
“I came to Coolmine after I relapsed. I had gone to a different addiction service which did not deal with my addiction issues properly. So I relapsed. Before I came to Coolmine I assumed it would be the same thing – come in, get clean and leave. But it’s completely different.
“In Coolmine they help you find the root of your addiction and then you have to work on that. It’s tough. It’s really tough. I had been told that they would use a behaviour based recovery approach. I didn’t think I had any ‘behaviours’. But, through the community support in here I realised that, from a very young age, I had learned to be a people pleaser and had used manipulation. And any feelings or emotions I had, I used to numb with drugs.
“Each of us in here get to a moment where we realise that we need to take responsibility for our actions and for our choices. There’s a behaviour pattern we’ve each been using in our lives – without even thinking. And if you don’t work on that you’re going to use drugs again. Because you haven’t changed your behaviour, your root issues.
“Coolmine taught me how to sit with my feelings, instead of numbing them with drugs. I wake up now every morning and I feel free. I have hope again. I thought I would never feel that again. And I’m remembering the things that make me ‘me’. There hadn’t been room for me to have a personality when I was on drugs. I’m a creative person who loves to perform. That had all been buried. Drug usage took my confidence and my belief that I was good at doing certain things. I have that back now.
“I have a relationship with my family again. They have the real me back! And I am a good mother to my kids now. And all without drugs. They don’t rule my life any more. I have more important things to think about!
“Sometimes it overwhelms me, the fact that I did it. That I’ve started a new life where I’m free and have hope. I look around and think “I can’t believe I’m here.” and I really never thought I could feel like that. That’s what this place has given me.”
Coolmine helps incredible people like Nadia every single day. To support our new fundraiser visit http://bit.ly/coolminefc Thank you.