Road of Restoration
At the Ideas Alliance, we love meeting inspiring people working for innovative organisations determined to think differently. Last year, we were privileged to work with the Elephants Trail in Manchester as part of our lottery-funded Not Another Co-Production Project. Patrick Tierney, Elephants Trail member, shares his brilliant blog post, Road of Restoration, which considers the role of hope in our lives and recovery journeys.
I work for The Elephants Trail and we use the hard things we’ve been through to change the difficult things for others. That’s what gets us going and that’s what drives us on. We’ve come through adversity and it has sparked an energy in us to help those still in the fight. We believe our relevant experience can place us in a good position to do that.
This is the beginning of his article:
At a point in my life the road back to where I once was seemed so long, I wasn’t sure I could muster the strength to set off. I was sitting in a prison cell, with three charges, a psychosis diagnosis, depression, anxiety and three long term substance addictions. Whatever vantage point I searched from- the future did not look bright. Looking back, I think what most obscured the light were the ginormous barriers that seemed to loom tall between me and any kind of meaningful destiny. They say a man can live without many things, even food and water for a season, but strip a man of hope and he is operating on time that is borrowed. It’s hope that lifts a heart above all the hits and knocks life throws its way; hope that endures when the world on your shoulders threatens to make the knees buckle; hope that anchors the soul to stay grounded and stable in every storm and turbulence. Unfortunately, it is hope that seems to be in ever scarcer supply in this present time. I thank God that mine was restored to me but there are many others who are where I was. This message is carried in hope for them.
More articles by Elephants Trail members
Patrick Tierney is a member of the Elephants Trail. A group using lived experience to bring about systems change. To view their recent documentary — Made in Bury, click this link — Elephants in the room: a community fights a mental health crisis | Made in Britain — YouTube