I am 50 years old and never thought I’d be totally abstinent from drink and drugs because even though I had used crack and heroin for 23 years, I always believed I could drink successfully and did not understand the concept of addiction. I have 3 daughters aged 29, 28 and 21, the two eldest being 5 and 6 when I started using drugs and when the youngest was born I could not stop using my drugs intravenously as the compulsion and obsession far outweighed the fact I was carrying a baby.
The house was constantly getting busted by the drug squad, which my children saw, they saw me overdose and in the end I was selling myself to fund my addiction. Although my children never got took into care my middle daughter went to live with my mum was she was 8 and my eldest daughter left home at 16.
Throughout these years I was sectioned, I did numerous hospital detox’s and I tried desperately to stop using. After each detox I would relapse because the obsession to use was stronger than the will to live and I would hate myself all the more because I thought I was weak willed, useless and hopeless. I was scared of life because I couldn’t function on the normal level that I saw everybody else on. In the last few years I was in and out of hospital with abscesses, my weight went down to 8 stone, my hair was falling out, my teeth were rotting and my body was drowning in my own fluids through the drink, but I had to drink to stop the shaking so I could get the needle in my arm.
I had a couple of months to live when I finally got to Pierpoint House. I was desperate and I was dying. My family were in anguish because they were watching me die.
As soon as I walked through the doors I knew I was in the right place…the therapists believed in me, my peers believed in me and the support staff believed in me, which gave me the strength and faith to begin to believe in myself.
I found facing up to what I’d done and what I had put my family through extremely difficult but knew if I left I would die. I spent 15 weeks in primary looking at the damage I had caused to my family and learnt so much about the concept of addiction and the solution that it gave me the determination to go on to secondary where I spent 14 weeks and learnt so much about myself and begin to believe that I am not the useless, worthless and hopeless person my addiction wanted me to believe I was. I learnt I AM WORTH IT.
Now I am in aftercare, I am 12 months clean and sober, I love life and relish every minute of it. I am back in college chasing my dreams and making them come true. I have my self-respect back and most importantly I have my family back in my life and they love me and are proud of me. You can have this too, because like me, YOU ARE WORTH IT.