Stories resonate powerfully with people. Your story of your own journey with a mental health or addictions issue may be the one that makes all the difference to how someone else comes to understand themselves, or that offers them hope for their own recovery and wellbeing.

How you tell your story is up to you. It may an audio recording, or a poem, a picture, or literally written up as a story. You don’t have to identify yourself, you can use a pseudonym – give yourself a name you like.

Talk to us or just submit something and after discussion with you we’ll find a place for it on this page.

The Cleansing
A Poem by Danika that beings with the lines

‘I’m bound in a black dress
Laced with frill and feather
I walk through the ashen woods
Through the mud and dirty weather

I inhale the aroma of charcoal and dust
And walk slowly towards the center
I look up into the sky, rain falls upon my cheek
I gaze upon the ground, do I dare enter?…….’

I feel the blood pulse through me
Even drag itself from my skin
Placing my mutilated foot in the water
Should I let myself fall in?

I sink into this oblivion
And let myself go weak
I’m surrounded by the darkest pleasure
No way to scream out…impossible to speak

Feels like I’m being torn
From the inside out
I feel my body cleansing
I crawl, with no hesitation, nor doubt

Fingers through the mud
Dragging myself from the shadow
My black dress turned to white
My clothing set aglow

I stand for the last time
Cold wind flows through my hair
Stare into the smothered sky
And weep my last tears of despair

For once I feel so beautiful
My skin so pale, so pure
With such an attractive innocence
An irresistible allure

My tears turn to beauty
As I walk from what I’ve left behind
No longer swamped in fear and anxiety
No longer am I confined

As I walk, I feel such freedom
And with happiness, I am consumed
Now eternally lost in ecstasy
My deepest desires can now be abloom

© Danika

Real People Tell Their Recovery Stories

A booklet published by Te Pou and that contains a collection of powerful personal stories from real people and their different journeys to recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.

Pathways to wellness are different for everyone as these stories show. Each person defines what recovery means to them. It can be helpful to think of recovery as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.

It is hoped through sharing these stories, people with addiction problems are encouraged and motivated to ‘get in the door’ for help and support. Addiction doesn’t discriminate and you are not alone.

You can access a copy here: –