“Five years ago a colleague of mine started a project called Amsterdam Underground. It’s a project which allows ex-addicts to give a tour through the “Red light district” and to share their personal story. When I had the possibility to become a part of this project, I didn’t hesitate for a second. One of my clients, her name is Sonja, was someone I really wanted to involve in this project. We have a very good connection, and even though she was very insecure she said yes. We practiced the tour for three days in a row. Every time something went wrong, she had this little voice in her head telling her that she couldn’t do it , that she wasn’t good enough. I tried to be the other voice telling her that she could and that she was good enough. It’s a big deal to share your story in front of such a group of strangers. During the first tour I stood right by her side to make sure she knew she wasn’t on her own. For addicts or ex-addicts, it’s not easy to make new friends or to attend social gatherings. When you have been addicted to heroin for 25 years it’s hard to engage in small talk. I try to remind them that they are now tour guides and that they do very important work. It’s work they can be proud of and tell at birthday parties.“ (3/3)

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