In my life, I've never started and finished something. I've done a lot of jobs - roofing, plumbing, draft proofing, putting down carpets, you name it! - but I've never done something that was for me, something which I've seen through to the end. I want a qualification where I can go out and have a career, not just move from one job to another. On top of all that, I want my own front door, my own address!
In 2016, I came out of prison and went directly into recovery. I had been addicted to drugs since I was an adolescent, and my addiction motivated all kinds of destructive behaviours, including stealing things that I could sell. I came out of prison with nothing, no home, no job, and no self-respect. I was sick of the way I'd been living, sick and tired of being sick and tired. I couldn't live like that anymore, I couldn't continue being an active user and hurting the people around me.
I’ve been clean for 3 years now, and I'm a changed man because of it. Today I’m honest to a fault; people even tell me ‘you’re too honest’! I try to give back however I can, going to prisons to do talks, sharing my experience with those it could help. I’ve been back to the prison I was incarcerated at 8 times since being released to give inspirational talks. I even went in once to talk to the prison officers about my own journey of getting clean. I’m a happy man today, something I never was before. I love my life.
Now it's time for me to move onto the next chapter. Being an electrician is something new for me, but it builds on my experience in the construction industry. I can already tell I'll be good at it, and at the same time it excites me to travel down a new road. I like the practical side of working in construction, and I'm a people person, so I love the idea of meeting new people all the time. This qualification will be a foundation to build upon and to find stability in. One day in the future I'd like to have my own electrical company. I'm going to make a career out of this, to move forward on my path and do what I can to give back.