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Experiencing the kindness of a fellow human being is one of the most transformative experiences I’ve ever had. When new to the prospect of recovery, what I felt about myself and my life was utter devastation.

But, in contrast to my harsh treatment of myself, the people I came into contact with were extremely warm, thoughtful and kind. Simply hearing my name verbalised in a calm, rational way gave me back an identity that I felt was lost forever. In my head I was shouting at myself and telling myself I was no good. But hearing my name associated with kind, encouraging words helped me question the damning voice inside me.

Healed by kindness

Counsellors and others in recovery listened to me sharing my life experiences without judgement. They were genuinely interested in my desire to change my life. They believed in me and offered practical steps we could make together.

I felt included and wanted. I was invited to social activities and began to feel part of something. Being with others was once frightening – but I soon began to find it a real pleasure just to sit and chat over coffee in a relaxed way. The transition from absolutely no hope to a place of hope for change in my life was created from the kindness that I felt and absorbed.

Kindness is a simple gift that can be freely given and is always gratefully received.

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