Tracy's Story

The thing with drug addiction is that it’ll come with bad mental health. You’re constantly fighting with yourself. After traumatic abuse in my teens, I began using drugs and I was a drug addict for 23 years. Drugs were the only escape that I had from my trauma, and it was a chance to get out of my head for a small time.

I didn’t want to be here anymore, the trauma of everything that happened in my childhood, my drug addiction, and the life that I had at that time, pushed me to it. Then I became clean. I spent a year in the hospital and subsequently, four and a half years in supported accommodation. I came into contact with Penumbra through Samantha, she was my OT at the Bonnyrigg Medical Centre. I began accessing support at Penumbra and my mental health has improved so much over the years and that support motivates me to stay off drugs.

I wasn’t good at making decisions but now, I feel like no matter what decisions I make, I can talk to Penumbra staff about it. For 5 and a half years, I was told that any decision I made was the wrong one but help from staff has given me confidence and helped me place my own wellbeing at the centre. Staff have also helped me become more independent and rely on myself, I now know how to keep myself healthy. My self-esteem is through the roof, the reassurance from staff about the choices I make does wonders.

I’ve always been judged in the past for my drug addictions, my eating disorders, the trauma. But for the first time. I don’t feel judged. 

Since I’ve been here, ken I can talk to the staff about anything, which really helps because it feels like a release of the negative energy I would’ve otherwise had to carry around. I wouldn’t be able to move on without the help of the staff. I know that I can rely on them without feeling judged, whereas before at my previous accommodation, I would bottle up negative feelings which would make it worse. The two times I have relapsed, I’ve been able to talk to staff about it. I’ve always been judged in the past for my drug addictions, my eating disorders, the trauma. But for the first time. I didn’t feel judged, it helped me.

Penumbra’s support has helped me realise what I want to do with my life, I want to volunteer and help people that are in similar situations that I have been in because that would make me happy. It’s also been my goal to have my own house and staff have helped me become independent enough to finally reach that goal. I feel more prepared emotionally. I feel good and I’m proud of myself. I’m just a lot more confident, it’s pretty simple. I feel I have been able to do everything possible to improve my life and the emotional support that I have received at Penumbra has been distinct – it’s made a massive difference. I’ve always wanted a family, now that my partner has a family, I feel like I finally have that. I have a bucket list! I want to bungee jump and go sky diving. I want to try new things; I’ve always wanted to try new things but I’ve never had the confidence or the resources to do it.

I want people to feel like there’s hope, that there’s help for them because if I can go out and deal with all that I’ve dealt with – so can everybody else! I hope that when you read my story, you know you can do it. I’ve done it. I was the last person people thought would be able to cope with things. But I did it.

I don’t know what my future holds but I know that it’s bright.

Huge thanks to Tracy for sharing your story. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! 

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