'I suffer from anxiety and depression. Often I’d have a cigarette so that no one would notice my anxiety. I was smoking 20 a day. It wasn’t just my health suffering, but my money as well. I was spending money on the cigarettes and on deodorant and disinfectant too so that I wouldn’t smell and the house wouldn’t smell.
I was hiding the smoking from my young daughter. I felt ashamed. Fresh Start really empowered me to open up.
Slowly, it was like, “Wow!” The group made me feel loved and respected. No one was judging or pointing the finger at me. It was a community together, supporting one another. Whatever time we had left after the session, we’d have dinner together.
The day I recognised the root of the addiction, that’s when it hit me.
After that, I was able to avoid it. Instead, I talk with my daughter or go for a walk. Now I’m down from 20 cigarettes a day to ten a week.
With CAP’s support, I found inner strength. Everything was taught step by step and there was no pressure.
If I didn’t do Fresh Start, I don’t know if I’d be here. My finance, my health, my depression – everything would have rocketed. Now I’m able to recognise it when it comes and think, “Yes, I can handle this”.’