Kenward Trust

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Carolyn's Story - "Kenward Trust saved me from certain death and I now have the life I always wanted."

A traumatic childhood left Carolyn an alcoholic at just 15. In trying to silence her memories, she drank away 20 years of her life before, with the help of the staff of Kenward Trust, finding the strength to stop. She went to the women’s rehabilitation project we used to run in Dartford.

"I was abandoned by my mother at the age of only three, and then subjected to cruelty and abuse from my father. I was plagued with terrifying nightmares and flashbacks and I started drinking at the age of 15 because it helped to blot them out. By the age of 24 I was drinking heavily and wanted to stop, but I couldn’t do it – I was addicted. At 33 I was drinking a litre of vodka, a bottle of wine and six cans of beer a day. I was in debt and depressed. Suicide seemed the only way out.

"My GP tried to help and sent me to a mental hospital, but this didn’t bring about lasting change. I had learnt that my liver was damaged – I was going to drink myself to death if I carried on.

"I heard of the Kenward Trust and its women’s project. It was a lifeline and I grasped it. The care and support of the staff and the therapy programme allowed me for the first time to fully explore the reasons why I drank and to understand how I had been hurt and hurt others. I was so tired of being addicted to drink and so ashamed of letting people down. The project’s team helped me learn who I really was and after six months I left sober, sane and eagerly looking forward to the future.

"This was a new beginning. But even as I left Kenward Trust, I didn’t have any idea how good my new life would turn out to be. My liver healed and I regained my health and energy. I had always wanted to start a family and I was fortunate enough to get married and have two daughters, all within four years of completing the programme! I would never have thought this possible only a few years earlier. It was like a miracle.

"Since then I discovered that I love writing and have had success writing for women’s magazines and am currently completing a novel for teenagers. I enjoy being sober today. My greatest motivation now is my family and my happiness is being able to give my girls the childhood I never had."