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Reader Story: Stephen, Pheonix House, Wirral

Written by Emma Walsh, 28th September 2017

This is Stephen's Reader Story in his own words:

"Without the Shared Reading group, I don’t feel that my recovery would have been possible."

I needed something, somewhere I felt comfortable to escape to, to start meeting people, away from home and other distractions and this fell into my lap just when I needed it.

The Shared Reading group has not only re-kindled my love of reading but it has provided me with a forum for my thoughts which until this, I internalised. It has connected me with people as I had distanced myself from everyone through drinking and the anxiety following stopping.

The books, stories and poetry, whilst not necessarily dealing with my own problems directly, raise issues similar to my own which I have found myself addressing vicariously, assisted by the thoughts, suggestions and ideas of other group members. It has brought structure to my life, something that disappeared because job loss and drinking.

Discussions, raised on points from the story or poem, often range far from the subject matter but are just as important for me as they encourage me to think and interact on all levels. Without the Shared Reading group, I don’t feel that my recovery would have been possible. Listening to someone tell a story, read a play or recite a poem holds my attention for far longer than anything else can, giving me food for good thoughts and distracting my attention away from my issues and addiction triggers.

*Please note that all our Reader Stories are anonymised.

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