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We Welcome Kat to Future Fires 2020

Future Fires is a programme that supports young artists to develop a socially-engaged art project in their own community.

We have been using these blog post to introduce each member of our#FutureFires20 cohort ,who will be #SupportedByContact for the next 12 months to create a project that will use their artistic skills to make a difference in the community.

Please note, this blog covers topics some readers may find triggering – addiction, suicide and mental health issues.
Kat is using her experiences as a force for good. We want to celebrate this, and hope that you will also draw a positive message from reading this blog.

However, if after reading this you feel like you need some additional support, please get in touch and we will try to signpost you to  the most appropriate provider. As ever, thanks for reading our blog.

KAT HUMPHREY

  • Kat Humphrey – 22
  • Working Name of Project “AWOFAD” aka Awareness of Addiction.

My project will be working with addicts in any stage of recovery, family/friends of addicts and anyone wanting to learn more about addiction. It will be a safe environment, so anyone is welcome as long as they are not under any influence. Children are welcome, under the understanding that there will be discussions and workshops around alcohol/drug addiction.

The main purpose is to educate people that addiction is an illness and try to end the attached stigma. This will be done through creative workshops over a day and there will be a showcase of what is created at the end of the day. I believe creativity should be an active role in people’s recovery and is really beneficial for some people to process information.

If you had to sum up your project in five words, what would they be?

A fight against the mind.

What motivated you to start your project?

After 7 long years in active addiction and a year of extreme behaviour, I nearly lost my life to suicide. Being in so much financial debt, losing my relationship and having heavy feelings of hopelessness – I gave up. Thankfully, unsuccessfully. After being admitted to a mental hospital, (my parents believed it was due to my bipolar) I spent two weeks enforced sober and clean. With untreated addiction issues, I told my psychiatrist my thoughts about using drugs as soon as I was discharged and he sent me to the on-site addiction treatment programme.

Four more weeks and I’d completed the programme. During the programme, I was introduced to Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, which I continue to this day. Unfortunately, five weeks after I came out of hospital, I relapsed. I was massively clinging onto my past life. Being so early out, I hadn’t seen any improvements to my life that people speak of, I was still so unhappy and that was without drugs. So I tried to connect to that life again and that love. Which was so dangerous because obviously neither of them were good for me. Being an addict, I did everything obsessively with no moderation. What is important is that I didn’t know any better.

Now, I am better off than I have ever been. I have a new life, full of clarity, presence, genuine appreciation and gratitude. I want to spread what I have learnt to people who think they might have a problem, people who know they do and all those who want to know about addiction. I want people to know it’s not all stereotypes. I want people to know it’s not  CHOICE and not a case of WILL POWER; it is an illness. There are people out there who can support you. Whatever age, gender, race, religion, whatever your social identity, addiction does not discriminate.

How are you finding the Future Fires programme?

I’m loving it! Obviously it’s a shame we aren’t able to do physical face-to-face workshops but we still do workshops once a week and have check-ins around that. Rory and Rose are amazing, between them they make the project so accessible and friendly. I can’t stress this enough, it is such a comfort to my mental health. They are super understanding of individual’s needs and give everyone space and time with each exercise. There is so much variety in discussions, workshops and exercises, it’s never boring. We’ve had buisness talks from Danny from Thirty Pound Gentleman and Jane from Woman In Print and it’s just like yeah… that’s pretty cool. Shout out to those guys.

And just a few more questions…

You are locked in Contact for a week with ONE person, who would you choose and why?

Tyler, The Creator. They say you should never meet your heroes. But. Yeah. I choose him. I love everything about him. So even if he hated me, I know I wouldn’t get bored.

Favourite place to eat?

Whenever I travel out of the UK, food is a massive aspect of the trip. And the best place I’ve been for food is definitely St Vincent, I was vegan at the time but I had the BEST chicken. Favourite place that is a bit more accessible is Chaophraya in Manchester – it’s Thai and it is THE BEST.

What’s your favourite quote/motto?

“Dream, Believe, Dare, Do” – Walt Disney

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much Contact for this opportunity. Thank you everyone I’ve met through recovery. I’ve been sober and clean since 19th August 2019 – it is possible 🙂

Visit our Future Fires page to learn more about the project as a whole.