aliI started self harming after the death of my best friend when I was 17 years old. I had no support and I turned to self harm as a way of relieving my emotional pain. Alongside self-harm I discovered that alcohol numbed and took away the hurt, the confusion and the self-hate. But the alcohol also took my self-harm to terrifying levels. What started off as a scratch on my arm at school, culminated in multiple hospital visits, being sectioned many times and taking near death overdoses.

Thirty years on I finally received the help I needed and now my life is rich and fulfilling. By getting the right support and working hard on my recovery I haven’t self harmed or taken drugs or alcohol in seven years.

As well as Five Lives, I work with a charity called Write to Freedom, who support people in  addiction recovery, and with The Devon Recovery Learning Community as a peer tutor, The work I do helps break down stigma, supports people on their recovery journey and I hope inspires people to believe that recovery is possible and that we all have the potential to change.

I am truly passionate about the work we do in schools. If I have helped, inspired, or made just one young person think about seeking help for themselves or a friend then it’s been worth every moment. I am very proud to be part of the Five Lives Team.