My addiction worsened the situation. My £100 to £200 a day habit led me to steal and borrowing and I think this became a strain on my family relationships. I had lost my independence and I felt people had lost the respect they once had for me. I was always independent and I missed my old life, I felt like half a person who couldn’t do the things I once could. The things which I thought made me a man were gone and I found this extremely difficult to come to terms with. This caused me to sink further into my addiction, my life kept deteriorating.
I became sick and tired of my life, plus I had to admit to myself that I needed help and that I could not get it back on track on my own.
People started to take advantage of me financially, and I was in a place I did not want to be and I felt that I was buying friendships. Rehab for me is not only about becoming drug-free, but it’s about finding myself again and rebuilding my family relationships. The fact of the matter was I had two choices; give up or get help through accepting I wasn’t coping.
I’d been given funding 6 months before I got a place at Phoenix Futures but no place would take me, I’d lost hope on everything. I felt like I’d died inside. If I had not accepted, I needed help, it would have taken longer than it did I, and I do not believe I would be here now.
Phoenix has provided me with the opportunity to get clean, and I was proud to complete my detox on the 7th of November 2018. I have also been supported to get the medical help that I need, and I am in a much better place physically. I now participate in groups where I build my confidence and develop the tools I need to get better. I am able to begin to look at issues from my past with my key worker and think about goals for the future.
This building is perfect for my additional support needs and I am able to get anything I need when I ask for it.
There is nowhere in the building that is not accessible and this allows me to be a full member of the community. This gives me the belief that when I move on being in a wheelchair will not hold me back.
I have been supported to attend a specialist group in Glasgow for disabilities called Best Foot Forward. They are going to be a big part of my recovery. I'm meeting friends there who understand what I'm going through and I'm getting opportunities to participate in activities that I didn't think would be there for me such as rock climbing and go-karting.
When I look to the future now, I have hope and optimism and have plans to go to college and get back into work and manage my own tenancy, with a positive social structure and a good quality of life.
I'm happy for the first time in a long time, I feel lucky to be alive and believe things are getting better for me.
One of the best things I've done at Phoenix was managing the Christmas edition of the newsletter and this helped me to focus on what I can do and not what I can't do and I want to carry this forward into my recovery.
I was scared about coming to Glasgow, but it's an amazing city and I now even have plans to move on to the Phoenix Re-entry service here and maybe eventually relocate. I have friends and a support network in Glasgow now and would like to remain linked to Phoenix Futures and hope to volunteer one day. It would be amazing for me to come back and help another recovering addict in a wheelchair settle into the service because I know how scary it is.
One of the most special things I have got in recovery is getting my son back in my life.
I thought this relationship was over as a result of my addiction, but he has visited me on a regular basis with his girlfriend and phones me every night. He's amazing and didn't give up on me and is a pleasure to be around. I am determined not to let him down again and I have a choice today to do what is right.
My biggest goal at the moment is to get the help I need with my disability that will allow me to get out of my wheelchair and be able to walk again with the help of prosthetics. If this is possible it is my dream to walk on stage to get my certificate at the Phoenix graduation ceremony in a couple of years surrounded by my friends in the community and my son.
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