“I had to choose between taking drugs or being a father to my children. I chose the responsible and more difficult path. I’m grateful the police turned up. If they hadn’t, I’d have carried on until I died. I’d given up all hope.
“There had previously been times when I’d lived successfully without drugs, so going back to a life of addiction was a painful place to be in. I wish I’d had the courage to ask for help earlier – but it didn’t happen.”
“At my lowest, I couldn’t even visit the supermarket due to regular panic attacks, and took an unplanned 9 months off work, though of course I didn’t know it would be nine months at the start. I was a recluse who barely left the house. My relationships suffered and I was stuck in a downward spiral of mental illness that I thought would never end. This is the story of how I overcame anxiety, putting it in the past and moving on with my life – a life in recovery.”
“All children, even teenagers, require boundaries. They need something to push against as they find their way in the world. Parents, and school to a degree, provide these boundaries in normal circumstances, but how do you impose rules on someone who is unpredictable? When a teenager has no respect for consequences the fear of the outcome of their actions is no longer a deterrent. How do you deal with an adolescent who may self-harm, run away from home or even overdose? How do you parent the practically unparentable?”
One of my main motivators is helping people at the ARC Rehab Centre in Cosham. This is a surprise to me because I’ve always believed I’m not a ‘people person’. In truth, helping others helps me in my continued existence.
My life seems fairly mundane now in comparison to my chaotic drinking/using days. This used to bug me early on in recovery but now it’s ‘life on life’s terms’, as they say.
“I used to think that because I didn’t drink during the day that I couldn’t really be an alcoholic. I chose to overlook the fact that the bottle and a half of vodka I had consumed the previous day, or in the evening before I went to sleep, was still in my system. I owe my liver a profound apology – it didn’t have a minute off for years.”
Last week, Maggie Sawkins, who leads local poetry and creative group Tongues & Grooves unleashed a local #writingchallenge and they kindly let us publish the responses. Make sure you get involved and give Tongues and Grooves [… read more ]
Star & Crescent Contributing Editor Rikki May remembers the first time he ever spoke publicly about his mental illness at a University of Portsmouth event – and how it helped him no end. For the [… read more ]