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All stories of recovery

Nina's Story

I always wish I had known more at the beginning of my journey.
Nina 3 4

My life changed forever when I fell down a lift shaft at work in 2019 and broke my pelvis and back. I had multiple surgeries over the next three years to fix my spine and pelvis. Some of the metal pegs that had to be put in are still there, and I have nerve damage from both the accident and the following surgery.

I started to have suicidal thoughts the year after my injuries. I found help and was diagnosed with PTSD. I had no idea that traumatic injuries could have affect my mind in this way.

At this point I was no longer able work as before. This was a big thing for me because before my injuries I was super competent. Now I felt like I was not competent in the same way. I started to think about what I would do with my life. I was desperate to do something useful.

I was researching major trauma on the internet when I came across Day One. I signed up for the newsletter and sometime later I got an email saying that they were looking for peer support volunteers. Volunteering felt like something I could do because of my injury, not despite it. I could do something positive with my experience of major trauma. I also thought that if I can help someone else by doing peer support, it would also be really good for me, as it’s a mutual, two-way relationship. By helping others, I am helping myself.

I was quite scared that I wasn’t qualified and wouldn’t be able to handle it, but I got in touch anyway. I had a long phone call with Carley, the peer support manager, and after that I knew it was what I wanted to do.

I’ve been a peer supporter for a year now and my experience has been really, really positive. It was more of a challenge than I thought it would be, but overcoming that challenge has felt great. I feel like I have learned so much. I feel more confident.

It was helpful to talk to someone who shares the same experience. It was nice to have the comradery, and I liked that it wasn't from one side. The first person I supported talked about his experiences too, like wanting to do yoga. He then went and did it, which inspired me to get back in touch with my Yoga teacher. It really was a mutually beneficial experience. You encourage someone to dare a bit more, but it also encourages you to do the same. It's supportive in both directions.

Volunteering has made such a difference to my recovery journey. Talking about my experience in peer support made me feel normal. It’s made me realise that there are things I can do and that I can contribute something of value to others. Having an experience where I do something because of what I have gone through is crucial. It's a challenge to take a risk, but Day One has enabled me to do it in a safe and supported environment, and I’m glad to be providing peer support.

Find out more about volunteering for Day One

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