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An email from Samantha…original, unchanged and with permission

An email from Samantha…original, unchanged and with permission

Time to Read: Doesn’t matter for this one

An email from Samantha…original, unchanged and with permission

Dear David and the rest of Naked Leader

I really want to say thanks, and you are right – what you do works!

I know it’s only been just over a week, but my whole world is significantly easier, and more changes have happened that I didn’t plan, or intend to happen!

As you may or may not know, I’ve struggled with substance abuse for years, it always exacerbates my underlying mental health issues – you could argue until the cows came home as to which came first of course!

I came a long way after the TEAM programme with the Trust in terms of believing in myself, and following my dreams. That’s what I say, and what is written about me. On paper, I’m particularly high functioning, to know I’m a bit of a mess!

I was awarded the Young Achiever of the Year in 2013: it was awesome, and was a great boost of morale for me. But I didn’t think I deserved it. I remember the day I got a message that I’d been shortlisted, and remember my first response: “but, I have just been discharged from being sectioned, I barely feel functioning, so I definitely don’t deserve that!” In a video, and in the press, it’s spoken about how I’d gotten help with my financial difficulties, and had tackled my substance abuse issues. Again, it seemed like I was such a fake, because I was still struggling so much!

It was the same when I was about to go onto training to become a Young Ambassador – it had become clear that my cycle of being okay for a few months had stopped and I wouldn’t have deserved to be a YA – how can you talk about how your life has changed when you still have so many of the negatives, and have had to crawl back to the dual-diagnosis team, attend AA meetings, and try to refrain from ruining things.

All year, I’ve been battling, and it’s been insane. I hadn’t managed to get back over three weeks sober. The impact on my life was becoming dangerous. I can’t remember which day it was in Feb, but I was on final warnings in both of my jobs; had submitted the wrong piece of coursework which failed the module; I smelt, slept too much/little, and wasn’t looking after myself – which is exactly what led to me being sectioned a few years before. It wasn’t great when it came to being a YA – “oh, I best let that opportunity pass, I’m not good enough for that! It was just so stupid!”

I still couldn’t trust myself to quite stay completely sober, but I thought I had found a way to not completely fall apart when I created a book of to do lists in a pretty neurotic manner: my housemate was like – “HOW many have you made?” “Enough for a month – do you want some?” 😛 But it was designed to manage the bad days. It did work, to some degree! I brushed my teeth, ate 3 meals a day, attended uni, and work. So long as I had popped it into the book, I would eventually sort of do it! But it was exhausting, it was like every interaction I had, every action I made – even those that should just be automatic – was so much effort. But I figured, that I’ve been trying all year to be less of a fake – so if this is working, maybe that means it will be hard now, but it will get easier.

This is SO long – sorry, but I’ve re-shifted my perspective on so much, but apparently not on my ability to be concise! That is OKAY! 😛

It feels like so much longer than a week, I read your book in one sitting, and carry it with me in my bag, but unlike the To-do lists, I haven’t needed to get it out. I feel enlightened – spiritually, or whatever. It’s as if something finally in my 25 years on this earth has just *clicked*.

*I haven’t had to leave the room/building whenever someone wants to drink to prevent myself from doing it too, because I just don’t feel like I want one too – that nagging *you need to not be sober* that kept me ostriching has never not been there atleast once in a day, but POOF – I don’t know where it is! I’m sure it will come back, but for now I’m enjoying this magic!

*I have been happy to walk the shortcut home despite the dealers recognizing me – ‘NO thank you’ is such an empowering thing to politely say, when you do *ACTUALLY* mean it.

*I’ve also accidentally given up smoking, which was very unexpected – I thought I needed that to deal with the stress of everything else, but I don’t.

*This will explain the lots of rambling background I added above: In terms of my role as a YA, for the first time all year I finally get it. I’m not unworthy of telling my story because I still have struggles. Being a Young Ambassador is about sharing how the princes trust helped me, of course. But it isn’t just about me, nor is anyone going to call me out for being a fake for still being human. I was stuck in the past tense with that ‘helpED’, which created the impossible picture that somehow I should be sharing a story clearly travelled from that was wrong, and now it is not – woohoo! That was wrong it isn’t like that at all, it’s about me being an example of how they helped me take steps to become a more functioning mess, but also how they gave me the skills on the course, and with their ongoing support to HELP (present AND future tense) with ALL of my life – which is what they do for everyone.

Sorry, It’s a long email, and these are early days, but I am so grateful because I generally can’t remember a time over the last 10 years where I’ve had a week of flat out happiness. Happiness isn’t an extreme emotion to me – it’s calm, peace, serenity. It’s really lovely, and I see why you do what you do – I want to give this feeling to everyone, because it really is OKAY.
From a grateful,

Samantha Lindley.

14 Responses to An email from Samantha…original, unchanged and with permission

  1. Now that is a wonderful email and puts life into total perspective.
    I really hope you maintain that happiness in your life, Samantha.

    • Thank you. It hasn’t been as easy as it was in that week, but it is getting back to there. There’s a difference between abstaining from bad habits, whatever they may be, and recovering. Recovering involves being at peace. I hope that you have happiness in your life too. 🙂

  2. This made me cry. Thank you David and Thank you Samantha especially for being an amazing example to us all of what courage can look like 🙂 long may your newfound happiness continue!

  3. Truly inspiring story. Keep going Samantha, every life changed affects many more people. Thank you for sharing such a positive experience

  4. I am simply amazed and amused! Samantha Lindley has all the time in the world to write such a long winded ‘thank you’ to the author after reading your book. The world is changing. Congratulations David!

  5. A really insightful piece from Samantha. Thank you for sharing it and best wishes to Samantha. Keep up the good work young lady.

  6. What an amazing turnaround from Samantha and she desrves love and respect for what she has achieved.

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