Posted on: 23 December 2020

Waldo Roeg, who is Senior Peer Trainer at CNWL Recovery and Wellbeing College, has contributed a chapter to this Open Source book.

Chapter 32 (from page 279) tells his story of losing everything, living on the streets and building a recovery.

“I currently work as a Peer Recovery Trainer at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) Recovery College. I am also a consultant for Implementing Recovery through Organizational Change (ImROC). But my life was not always so. Indeed, I have used services now for over 35 years, both for my drug and substance misuse and for my mental health. In this chapter, I tell the story of my recovery: of the many wonderful people who supported me in my journey; and of how my experience is now helping me in my current role working with others towards their own recovery.”

“I was once asked to write a list of the things that have helped in my own recovery journey. The list is quite long! But I would not wish to shorten it. …: 

1. Acceptance. 

2. Feeling a part of the community both at home and at work: the feeling that you belong. 

3. A feeling of independence. 

4. A self-management plan. 

5. Being confident to advocate for myself. 

6. Being valued for what I can contribute: moving from feeling grateful to people to discovering I have qualities that are valued. 

7. Stable housing. 

8. Being an active citizen and feeling my social status is not less than the people who support me. 

9. Overcoming my own stigma and shame. 

10. Gaining a sense of momentum. 

11. Having a small group of people that looked at me differently that helped me to look at myself differently. 

12. Changing attitudes. 

13. Use of a different language—the language of recovery. 

The Recovery College where I work, and others like it, embody so many of the things that have helped me in my journey of recovery. ‘Patients’ become ‘students’ and relationships are transformed through coproduction. They challenge stigma and genuinely recognize the strengths and contribution that everyone can make.”

One of the Editors,  Bill Fulford, Fellow, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford,  says, “In mental health, notably, regulation is often blamed for producing a risk-averse culture that is inimical to recovery: this is reflected in Waldo Roeg’s story (chapter  32, “Discovering Myself, a Journey of Rediscovery”), for example, where he notes that a more enlightened attitude to risk management was an important factor in his own recovery.”

Download the book for free.