‘It has given me the confidence to reach for the stars” – Angela’s story

Angela has worked incredibly hard to get to the positive place she’s at now, and has bravely chosen to tell her story in the hope it will help others that may be in the same situation. 

Angela’s words 

“I engaged with Natasha Talbot from Torbay Community Development Trust and it has really been a brilliant experience for me, it has taught me a lot about myself and it has been beneficial for my mental health. I met Natasha initially at the Homeless Hostel. 

“I wanted my life to improve, to change and turn it around 360 degrees, to gain my self-confidence and self-belief. Working with Natasha has been the best thing that has happened to me while I have been in recovery. 

“I have PTSD, complex tics, paranoia, anxiety, depression, agoraphobia (at times I couldn’t leave the house and was crippled with it). I was unable to stand up for myself and got taken advantage of, I was unable to take care of basic needs – for example – shopping for food and have felt at times like a complete prisoner. 

“But every time I see Natasha it gives me the feel-good factor as she is always happy! Because of my traumatic experiences in the past there are times when it is difficult for me to communicate with people and I become insular, engaging with Natasha helps to break that cycle. 

“It has given me confidence to reach for the stars and realise that anything is possible. 

“I found myself in a horrendous situation which led to me almost dying and losing everything. I had a stable home, secure employment and strong family bonds but I suffered with malnutrition, being frightened of people and the dangerous situation I found myself in. I was vulnerable, hungry and cold and just wanted to die. I was living on the streets, using alcohol to numb out life experiences and was then attacked in someone’s home. I was unable to leave or protect myself. 

“I was paranoid and frightened of people, I would shake, sweat and run back to the homeless hostel if anyone came behind me. I would try and speak but my voice wouldn’t come out, like I was mute. 

“I couldn’t even look at myself, I was living with a lot of men in the hostel which was difficult for me based on my past experiences, however some males were supportive which helped change my perspective that not all people are evil. 

“I would get frustrated and angry as I couldn’t ask for what I wanted and needed. I was homeless, had broken family bonds, I had a head injury from violence and was needing medication. The effects of the trauma led to me having night screams and jumping out of bed like I was fitting. These times were dangerous as I would almost be jumping out of the window. 

“I was alcohol dependant, I get flashbacks daily several times. I lost friends who I now understand were fake friendships. 

“I have attended courses that have been helpful for me to understand what makes me tick, make better choices and given me life skills which are so important. It has helped me be able to develop and sustain healthy relationships and be able to say no and mean it. 

“I attract the right kind of people, likeminded people into my life which is what I have always yearned for. It has given me confidence to deal with hierarchs and not take ‘any s***’! 

“My future goal is to embrace my creativity, I love to sing and intend to do more of this. I also intend to ‘kick ass’ at every opportunity. To write my life story for SANE and do my radio podcast. 

“Anything is possible now, I have self-belief and I know I’ve come a long way. I’m celebrating 3 years in recovery. I am SO PROUD of MYSELF.”