I have been to hell and back For as long as I can remember I have been an addict. My childhood was poor to say the least. I was kicked out of home when I was 16 and my life just got worse from then on. I moved around but my troubles would always follow me. Drink and drugs were a way out. I have been in a lot of trouble with the police and have had toxic relationships which always ended up with me on the streets. I have seen a lot and I have been to hell and back. I used to think that as long as I wasn’t on heroin, I would be OK. For a long time, I took anything and everything, but it was the crack that did a lot of damage. From the first time I walked into cafe North, everyone was amazing. If it wasn’t for them, I would have started using again, 100% guaranteed. They really saved my life. I am an ESRA volunteer and I have just completed my food hygiene level 2 certificate. I make coffee and bacon sandwiches, and I help sweep up afterwards. I am always happy to jump in and help when I can. There is no doubt in my mind if it wasn't for all the staff at ESRA, and having a safe place to go, I wouldn't be writing this. I go there every day and I have started opening up and talking. I wasn’t able to do this before. It’s good to be around people who know what you have been through. My priority right now is to stay clean and sober and to sort out my mental health. I deal with PTSD and I know I still have work to do on that.