I come from an extremely loving family and have always had loving friends around me. I was extremely lucky and blessed to have been bought up alongside my big brother, by my Mum and all her family.
As a child, you never truly appreciate how easy life is and you are never aware of the ‘real world’, until you venture out on your own as a young adult.
In my school years, I was always mischievous, but I seemed to have a way of getting away with being naughty in a loveable & forgivable way.
On the 20th April 2018, my beautiful mum passed away after a long and painful battle with cancer. My life has never been the same since that day.
I’d never lost anyone close to me at this point, so once this happened I just didn’t know how to deal with the pain I was experiencing and quite frankly, I am a work in progress. I am now trying to take every day as it comes.
The way I coped back then was by turning to cocaine, to obliterate and suppress my feelings. I wanted, no, I needed, to make every bad situation feel more manageable.
I excelled in my newfound profession which was sales. But the real truth is that I hid my cocaine addiction from everyone and somehow managed to still be productive with work. It was only a matter of time before the wheels came off. As
I now know, you cannot honestly function when in active addiction, no matter how productive I felt I was.
When Covid 19 started and no one was allowed to leave
their house, I turned to gambling when high on cocaine. This just accelerated everything to such a severe degree. It gotto the point that as soon as I took cocaine, I had to gamble immediately and I could not be around anyone. I isolated and gambled when high on Cocaine for days and nights non-stop.
On the 29th July 2021, I was brought to my knees by a cocaine and gambling addiction and was admitted into The Priory in Hale. I was fortunate enough that this was my decision – I knew I was broken and I had surrendered completely.
I discovered through pain and tears, that you don’t just ‘treat addiction’, you end up treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, loneliness, despair, toxic secrets, regret and undiagnosed head trauma. Then you begin to realise addiction is often someone’s best attempt to cope when they don’t see any other options.
This statement was so true, for me, I have just run away from my feelings my whole life.
When I arrived at rehab, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I had hope. I gave it everything when I was there, as I either had to come out the other side of this with a solution or end up losing my family from all the pain I caused them in my active addiction. I’d already lost myself and I wanted to find the new me.
I met Dan in rehab. We shared a painful yet uplifting journey together. I think the beautiful thing is, if you meet someone at the worst and most vulnerable state of mind, find a common enemy, you like them and work hard together, and when you get to know the real them (as they get to know me) you will love them all the more. Dan and I formed a friendship that is so special. It is our greatest desire to work together to pass on the message of hope to all those suffering from addiction. We can only keep what we have by giving it away.