My name is Austin. I came to the Launching Pad seeking help with my long-term problems with substance abuse. While here I participate in programs to learn more about my addiction problem and I am coached in applying some practical recovery strategies that of which include the "Peer to Peer Kitchen Training Initiative".
Before arriving at the Launching Pad I ran my life into the ground, which became unmanageable due to my alcohol consumption and bad decision making. I didn't have much hope when I first got here, but the other clients that made up this house were much happier than I was at the time, and in wanting what they had found, I became willing to participate in opportunities the Launching Pad offered.
Everyone was expected to take part in the kitchen duties at some point. The thought of cooking dinner and being edible for a couple of dozen others terrified me because, before coming here, I could hardly feed myself, never mind my two daughters. This, among other tasks of healthy living, I was seemingly unable to do, trampled my self-esteem.
I got my food safe here at the Launching Pad, and through the help of others and the Kitchen Program found that I was perfectly capable of handling responsibilities I would need ifI wanted to live a better life than the one I first walked in herewith.
Previously my cooking abilities consisted of under or overcooked pizza pops in my grungy microwave at 3 am, or pizzas I would throw on an already dirty pan, sometimes passing out on while cooking overnight.
I now have a better ability to cook a wider range of healthy meals for myself as well as my two daughters I was not able to properly look after. I will now get to make pancakes with a genuine smile on my face, instead of being full of fear and despair over how I could possibly hope to look after the people I care about when I previously couldn't take care of myself...