When I first decided to get sober, it was for the wrong reasons. My physical health was poor, my mobility was not good at all, it was 2004 and I had been drinking heavily for 20 years, yet I was doing it for my family.

Of those last 10 years, I spent lots of time in hospital with physical trauma including broken bones and cuts, and internal problems such as pancreatitis, damaged liver, various infections and generally poor health. I spent time in jail and many police cells, lost a few jobs and destroyed lots of relationships.

While I was with the service, an increase in consumption put me in hospital a couple more times. It was then that I was told that a hospital detox would be safer. Time seemed to go really quickly. Before I knew it, I was having my last blowout before going to a detox in Hove. It lasted between 7-10 days. I don’t remember much about it as I was on a lot of medication, but I do remember eating a lot of jacket potatoes.

An opportunity came up at ESRA about 2 years ago to become a recovery coach helping people in different stages of their recovery. I facilitate 3 groups and do lots of signposting. This enables me to help other people in the early stages of recovery to overcome obstacles that I faced in the early days of recovery.

I have had so much support from ESRA including one to one meetings, many training opportunities, help in finding work and also with preparing for interviews. 

I now feel very well equipped to help other people in their recovery, something that gives me a lot of satisfaction. Recovery is an ongoing thing in my life but I will never forget the people that helped me and gave me confidence.