For so many people, COVID-19 restrictions hit right at a crucial time of change in their lives. For Jane Beamsley, whose whakapapa is Te Arawa, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Kahungunu, it was just as she was starting to use her path through recovery of alcohol and drug addiction to help others in Kaikohe, Northland
In her years trying to stay sober and work through her depression and anxiety, Jane had learnt that being part of a group was crucial to her recovery. It was in 2017, when she was based in Auckland, that it was recommended Jane join the group He Waka Eke Noa, a drug and alcohol recovery hub and support clinic that met up every Wednesday.
“I went along and I loved it – I felt like I belonged. It was like a family, because I had nobody. We meet up, sing songs, travel and go to different places together. It was my strength, you know?” she says.
“When I was in addiction, I felt alone a lot of the time. And when I started getting well, I realised I can’t do this alone because I’ve tried many times and I keep falling over.”