06 March 2024

From client to advocate: Cathy's journey to WithYou volunteer

Cathy 1
I fill my day with helping others, and I have a purpose.

Cathy, Volunteer, Liverpool

Cathy's story

Where did it all start?

“The first time I tried heroin, I was told it was cannabis melted on tin foil. I was going through a difficult stage, trying to process a lot of trauma that had gone on in my childhood. Heroin became an escape from everything that was going on. It stopped all the traffic in my brain. But then I spiralled. I ended up shoplifting, stealing from my family, and working in the red light district to pay for my habit - heroin consumed me. 

“I then went from heroin to crack, amphetamines and cannabis. But one day, something just clicked and I knew I needed to get a hold of myself. So I began a methadone script and I started going for counselling, CBT and hypnotherapy.

“I hit rock bottom on 30 March 2016, when my little girl passed away. Switching off the life support machine and watching my son cradle his baby sister was the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. The death of my daughter shook me into coming off the methadone. I said to myself, ‘It’s time to change yourself, to be better for your kids and family’."

What difference did WithYou make?

“WithYou have been amazing. They’ve put me on courses, they’ve taught me so much. They’ve never judged me, I’ve never felt any sort of stigma. The people there are amazing and I can talk to them about anything. It's just nice to have people who understand and who can guide you.

“Because of my addiction, I didn’t know who I was. I was just this being who’d been abused - so much had happened to me. When you’re lost in addiction, it’s like a circle: you do the same thing day in, day out. But when you come out of addiction, you have to get up and get out of that. And with the support I had from WithYou, I realised I could do it."

What is life like now?

“Life now is amazing. I look forward to waking up and starting every day fresh and spending time with my kids and the family I’ve reconnected with. I fill my day with helping others, and I have a purpose.”

Cathy, what’s your message to others who may be experiencing challenges?

“We have so many amazing people on the team who are here to help. Anything is possible - I’ve done it, I’m not special, I’m just a human being. Everything I’ve been through doesn’t make me a superwoman, but I’ve got the tools and knowledge I can now pass on to others and that’s what I intend to do: help others.”

Hear from others like Cathy