I fell in to using drugs when I was young. At 14 I was smoking cannabis, at 16 I was taking ecstasy and by the age of 17 I was committing crimes. The first time I used heroin it made me feel ill but by my early 20s I was dabbling. Since then I’ve been in that cycle of prison and services, in and out. I am 33 now and I stayed in that same scenario for a long time.
Three years ago a friend told me about WDP. Since engaging with WDP I have learned to accept that I am an addict and I can’t dabble. Recovery is about acceptance. In my 20s I wouldn’t accept that I couldn’t use. I thought I could do it my way. But now I know my way ‘ain’t the way’ – it’s taken me years to admit that. I ended up in prison again recently and that made me realise that I have had enough of that life. I know I am better than that.
I came out of prison five weeks ago and I have been getting help from Lantern Hall (home of the Croydon Community Drug & Alcohol Team) and WDP. I struggled to find somewhere to live and WDP helped me to find housing and sort out benefits. I am living on the breadline and some days I get down. I go to the WDP drop-in about twice a week and that’s really helped to keep me going. There is an AA group and access to NA and other mutual aid groups. They should get a medal. Mike is my support worker and his heart is in the right place. At WDP you are recognised as a person. They’ve been there for me, they are 110% good stuff.
I am on a script now and my aim is to become abstinent. I am getting myself grounded and keeping my head above water. I am doing my best. I know I need to take short steps to normal living. I will take any opportunity to recover with both hands.