Steph PJ is in recovery from substance misuse and is now helping others to do the same with the help of music in Brookside, Telford.
By Steph PJ – Peer Volunteer at Recharge
Life was difficult for me when I was young.
I was adopted at the age 5 and my catholic adopted mum didn’t agree with a lot of my choices growing up. We fought a lot and eventually the relationship with my adopted family broke down. At 13 I left my adopted parents and was put back into the care system.
My blood related brother continued to live with my adopted parents and we had no contact. We were very close growing up and being apart from him hurt me a lot.
Over the years foster placements broke down and so to deal with all my pain, anger and rejection I turned to different drugs.
At first my drug use was not excessive. But, the more I moved around from home to home the more unstable, depressed and anxious I felt within myself. I lost a few jobs and started using drugs everyday on my own just to block out the hours.
After going through a toxic relationship, I turned to my absolute rock bottom. I realised my drug use had become a problem after smoking crack cocaine and taking ecstasy every day in an attempt to kill myself.
I had no direction, stability or will to live at this point and turned to my worker, Becky Blount, for help. Becks supported me day by day to change my life and to get into long term recovery.
At this time, Becks told me she planned to build a young people’s recovery project…
Working with Becks I helped to plan and name her recovery project.
I also spent some time thinking about what I could do as part of the project. As a musician I thought, ‘what if a lot of young people in Telford have been through similar difficulties and can relate through music’. And so I set up our ‘Music for recovery’ group within recharge so I could give back to those who need support like Becks did with me for so many years.
I played at a young people’s festival in Bridgnorth and raised some money for our project. This enabled us to purchase a guitar and a few other bits of equipment for the group.
Eventually, Becks launched Recharge June 2015. Thanks to myself, Becks and Recharge I have been clean from drugs for 2 years. Recharge has given me stability, hope, love, direction and purpose.
Being involved with Recharge has helped turn my life around. I’ve gone on various types of training that have helped me build my confidence and resilience towards situations and people that I found difficult to deal with.
I am now a qualified Youth Worker. I volunteer at Recharge and visit schools across Telford to tell my story and raise awareness to young people about where they can access help and support either for themselves or a friend, family member or anyone they know facing similar difficulties to me.
Reach out to Recharge
Recharge cares about young people 13-21, their recovery and wellbeing mentally, physically, emotionally as well as their general development.
We do this by offering different weekly group sessions like Football, Boxing, Emotional wellbeing, Music for recovery, SMART and ‘Growing to your strength’ girls group.
We also offer 121 sessions and have our own qualified drug and alcohol councillor who is also the lead SMART facilitator here at our group called Louisa.
Recharge provides ‘drop in’ sessions twice a week for young people and professionals. We have an amazing Website, Twitter and Facebook page where people can find out more about our support, staff and contact details.
Recharge is based in Brookside open Monday- Friday 9am- 6:30pm with an open door policy to all.