Before coming to Steps2Recovery, I was stuck in the grip of a continuous cycle of drug abuse and prisons. After landing myself in prison for the fifth time in a year, I was lucky enough to be put in front of a Crown Court judge who wanted to help me. I was offered a chance to go to a residential rehab called Steps2Recovery.

‘Steps’ as we clients call it, is normally a 12 week, 12 step programme, but due to the length of my alternative prison sentence, the judge asked Steps to consider giving me an extension on my stay to a length of seven and a half months and that my further awaiting charges be considered and asked for this to not affect my chance at getting some help. The professionals at Steps understood the importance of my situation and the desperation I had for getting help, and agreed. Steps understands that not every client’s circumstances are the same and that different needs must be met if the individual has any chance of recovery. ‘The house where miracles happen’, is how I like to refer to Steps now.

My first impression when walking through the doors was one that I hadn’t experienced for so long, it was warm and welcoming and full of genuine people who understood me and took an interest in me even though they didn’t know me properly. I now understand that this was because they themselves could relate to my story on a personal level. While being at Steps I got the chance to do a thorough Steps 1,2 and 3 with my one to one counsellor, attend group therapy with people I could relate to, a first at feeling a part of something and being accepted for who I am and not just my mistakes. I also took part in many other therapeutic classes that all helped in my healing, that varied from musical movement medicine to art therapy and so on.

During my stay I got to have regular home visits and sleep overs, once checked and approved by my counsellor, and these were paramount to the building of bridges with my children and loved ones. Once completing my time at Steps and graduating, their help didn’t stop there, I was offered an eight week day programme with wind down and then the chance to move on to Kairos, a supported abstinence based housing scheme where clients can continue their recovery in a safe environment with extra support. It is so important to have this set up, to strengthen someone’s chances of a solid recovery.

I am now two years clean and back living with my children and loved ones, and yet two years along Steps continue to offer me support. I attend a Friday morning aftercare group, where I have just been asked along with other peers to help facilitate the group and through peer support help newly graduating clients of Steps. I will always hold gratitude close to my heart, for all the professionals at Steps, past and present, and as a way to give back to them I currently do personal artwork and greeting cards for donations to Steps2Recovery through my private fundraiser. Once you become a member of the S2R family you will always be a part of that family. Steps2Recovery really does save lives. I should know, they saved mine.

Grateful recovering addict, Natasha Zammit (Tay)