Recovering through a lens
‘Recovering through a lens’ is a recovery story written by a HAGA service-user, which featured in Recovery Pride: Stories from Haringey collection in 2015. The story explores how photography and film were central to one man’s recovery.
I started drinking at seventeen, though it didn’t become an issue for me until I was in my 30s. At the time, I had a neighbour who was making my life miserable through their constant harassment. This situation made me start drinking more and more.
My self-esteem got to an all-time low. Additionally I found that I couldn’t sleep. My insomnia got really bad and as a result I felt exhausted and jumpy. I used to make short animation films but stopped doing this as I was tired and felt demotivated. It was then that I decided to do something about my drinking and started going to HAGA to look at cutting down on my drinking.
I am now at Haringey Recovery Service which I have been going to for two years. I have started to attend a drama group. This has given me more confidence and is helping me to work on my self-esteem.
I also took part in two photography courses which I enjoyed as we used skills I had learnt from my film making experience. The photography group has had a few exhibitions, one which was in the Library of the V&A Museum where our photographs were projected on to a screen. We also had a show at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre.
I am working with my keyworker around gaining more confidence and raising my self-esteem, though it’s still a work in progress. I am hoping that this is something that will improve hugely. I have also cut down on the amount that I am drinking.
I am currently using my skills in film making and editing to make a short film about volunteering. This is an area that I have not done before and but it is important to try new things. I am also going to work with the Drama Group on making a film for the Haringey short film competition.
I really want to complete a short animation film and have it shown. I am looking at the possibility of taking a course in animation to update my skills and start to network which will help me to achieve my goal of having more people seeing my work.