I've been homeless three times in my life. I've slept in my car, a dilapidated caravan, even a hay barn with only some stray cats and dogs for company. The last time I was living in a shed and was being harassed to leave. On top of this I was addicted to alcohol, suffering from withdrawal and mental health problems.
I hit rock bottom when I woke up in a hospital bed with a bottle of whisky still in my bag. The absurdity wasn't lost on me. Soon after this I was offered a place in detox and rehab. I jumped at the chance. This was my way out.
Now? I've not had a drink in over two and a half years. I'm in supported housing and getting help to look for a place of my own. And I'm volunteering for a drug and alcohol service, supporting others who are trying to turn their lives around. I've done some adult care in the past - I'm good at it and find it really rewarding. But I've got no formal qualifications to help me get a paid job in the future. This training course can only be a benefit and will let me put my experiences to good use.
It's time for me to get back to the real world. So many people helped me get to this point and I will be eternally grateful to every one of them. I know it's a bit of a cliche but it's time for me to give something back. I'm proud of being clean but that's only the first step. The thought of doing this course is daunting but exciting. Bring it on!