Before, a challenge was an excuse to walk away. Now, it’s a way to prove myself. And I’m smart enough and strong enough to ask for help if I need it. I want to pass this message onto the people I work with.
I used drugs basically all my life. I was a functional user, working as a waiter, always reliable and presentable. But inside I felt like a completely different person. I killed my feelings with drugs. As well as being deeply unhappy, my physical health began to suffer. Eventually my arthritis got so bad that I had to leave my job and became homeless. This was the shock I needed to make a serious change.
It wasn't always easy but I've been clean for nearly 5 years now. During recovery I started to volunteer in hospitals. I found I could use my experience to help others. I'm now working part-time as a support worker in a rehab. Once I have my Level 3 in Health & Social Care I can move to a full-time role and achieve my biggest wish - to be completely off benefits this time next year!
What do I tell someone who is struggling? It’s never too late. If there’s even a little hope you have to grab it.