Battling Addiction - Louis' Story

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The Basement Recovery Project operates in Todmorden and central Halifax, offering specialised support for those battling addiction. They take a holistic approach, believing that exercise plays a crucial role in the recovery journey. Thanks to Active Calderdale funding, they've been able to create opportunities for their members to get active in a safe and supportive environment, whenever they're ready.

One such example is that of Louis who approached the Basement Project for help back in 2021. Physical activity played a huge role in his recovery journey and Louis was kind enough to share his story with us.

Louis' Story

My name is Louis and I've had a long battle with drugs and alcohol which was unfortunately the main theme of my life from early adolescence and onwards. My health was severely impacted by intravenous drug use and a lack of self-care. This has resulted in a long history of DVTs, pulmonary embolisms and a chronic condition called lymphoedema causing swelling and leg ulcers. My mobility was poor and my general health was at an all-time low.

The Road to recovery

In April 2021, I began a phase of treatment for drug addiction with the Basement Recovery Project. As part of my recovery and with the encouragement of the Basement Project and the inspirational individuals involved, I decided to work on my health and fitness.

Beginning with participation in the walking groups, I found a safe and enjoyable way to get active. After gaining confidence and improving my fitness, I attended boxercise classes arranged by the Basement Project at Halifax Fitness First. I also attended the couch to 5k running group and the circuit training sessions held at the Basement.

"My fitness and general health as well as my self-esteem began to improve dramatically and health and fitness became central to my lifestyle."


Giving back to the community

I now attend Halifax boxing gym regularly and I've started helping to facilitate the gym sessions and run the Boxercise class at the Basement Project. To build on these foundations, I am working towards gaining a level 2 qualification as a personal trainer and have a realistic ambition of obtaining a level 1 Boxing coaching qualification through England Boxing this year.

I find the benefits of regular exercise and being involved with fitness in the recovery community transcend the physical benefits alone. Improving connections with others in life, which is vital to maintaining recovery, as well as improving health and energy levels allows me to turn up and engage in life more fully.

It has been a great privilege and source of enjoyment to pass on to others the encouragement and knowledge that was given to me by the Basement Recovery Project about health and fitness. Going forward, I aim to keep health and fitness central to my life and my recovery.

You can read more about our work with the the Basement Recovery Project on the following blogs:

Kelly's Three Peak Adventure | Active Calderdale

Isle of Arran - A Recovery Adventure | Active Calderdale

5-A-Side Flourishes @ The Basement Project | Active Calderdale

Taster Sessions with the Basement Recovery Project | Active Calderdale