Whilst working as a chef I would speak about my ambition to become a chef instructor. But it was all talk. Because of the drink, I never put it into action. I wasn't physically or mentally able. But I've gone through the worst period of my life and come out the other side. I now have the strength and motivation I need.
I worked as a chef for 15 years but I was drinking everyday and using drugs. Things got so bad that I had to leave the family home. I sofa-surfed for a few years but eventually outstayed my welcome. I had nowhere else to go. I still remember the day when I decided enough was enough. I was drinking beside a canal and was shouted at by passers-by. At first I got annoyed but then I realised - it was 8:30 am and I was sitting there drinking alone. I called my brother and told him I needed help. Through my GP, I then met a support worker and completed rehab at Kairos. I've now been sober for two and a half years.
Becoming an instructor means I can work in the kitchen but in a more relaxed and supportive way. I can help people become qualified chefs and pass on some of the same assistance that I was lucky enough to be given. I want to show my family that I can provide for them and make up for all the time that I missed. To be able to save up for my daughter's future would be incredible. I can prove to people that are struggling with alcohol that it is possible to get better. It just takes determination and support.