I moved to Hemel Hempstead in the late 80’s and set up a nail salon. Business was booming and life was good. I had 3 adorable children, and everything was going to plan; in fact, everything was perfect!
Then lots of salons were popping up everywhere. My takings were down, and with 3 children to look after, it was becoming impossible to keep afloat. During this time, I noticed I was drinking more. Drink had become my way of dealing with troubles.
My debts continued to rise and eventually, when I had nothing left to sell, I was declared bankrupt. I lost my house, I’d fallen out with family, the friends I had were just drinking buddies; there was nobody to turn to. Soon after, my marriage hit the rocks and by 2017, I had absolutely nothing to my name. In 15 years, I had managed to lose everything.
I felt completely alone. My depression started to take a grip and I couldn’t see any hope. I took some pills and alcohol and woke up 4 days later in hospital.. Later on, after another failed suicide attempt, I was back on the ward. I knew the only people who could help me now was DENS. A few years ago I’d been living in a beautiful home with my beautiful children and here I was, about to move into a hostel.
At first, I was scared but I soon felt safe and supported. The Elms hostel staff were incredible, they built me back up and helped me see a way forward. I was allocated a key worker and also attended a 12-week 1-2-1 therapy program which was so beneficial for me.
DENS helped me rebuild my life. I now have a place of my own, a place to call home. I volunteer at a community café giving me a routine and more importantly, a purpose. If it wasn’t for DENS, I’d be dead, it’s as simple as that. DENS supported me through my darkest time and helped me when I was at rock bottom. Life now looks very much brighter.