When Amanda was 13 she started drinking, using speed, acid, ecstasy and sniffing glue. At 14 she jumped out of a window and by 16 she was in a psychiatric ward. Here is her story.
“When my dad died I started taking amphetamines. My partner was beating me up and emotionally abusing me. I lived to get out of my face and escape.
“Before long I was down to six stone. I wasn’t sleeping; I was gaunt, battered and yellow with jaundice and I felt awful, but I just didn’t care. Eventually I lost my house and ended up sleeping on the streets. It was terrifying and I always had to sleep with one eye open.
“By now I needed heroin to function. I knew I had hit rock bottom and that I needed to get clean. So I went into detox. This helped me to realise that drugs were only part of the problem and that it was me I had to fix. My detox support worker referred me to Transform to start this journey.
“When I arrived at Transform I was terrified. I was in a town I didn’t know, in a body I didn’t know. But the house and staff gave me the security I desperately needed after being abused, assaulted and living on the streets. Being surrounded by people experiencing similar problems was really important. I learnt from them and they learnt from me.
“Before I came to Transform, someone told me that to stay sober I had to change one thing… everything. Transform has enabled me to do just that – my home, my friends, my associates, my behaviour, everything. Now I have a fantastic relationship with my mum and my son. My world is expanding and I am building solid foundations for my future.
“I have three jobs now, one of which is to look after an elderly lady; I take her to the shops and help her to get to her appointments. Recently I was waiting for her and I realised I was holding her handbag. This was a massive moment for me – I am trusted and I trust myself.”