Real Stories in North Ayrshire

  • I'll live and laugh again poem
    A moving poem describing one woman's feelings

  • Looking Forward
    A woman speaks about her early experiences of heroin and the impacts it had on her life, how methadone helped her get stable, and how she has moved on with her life now that she no longer uses methadone or illicit drugs.

  • One Day at a Time
    A young man who had a good upbringing talks about how drugs affected his life and how he is moving forward with his recovery.

  • This is only the start
    A man recalls not remembering life without alcohol, living in a dump and every penny going on the drink, but importantly how he turned his life around using local support and building friendships and a new life for himself filled with hope and ambition.

  • My Journey into Recovery
    A man tells how his inquisitive mind led him on a path of risk taking and drug use which took over his life, stripped of his job, kids and marriage; and how he has started to turn things around.

  • Moving Forward
    A young man who was homeless talks about how FITB4U helped him reduce his drinking, gain new skills and get his confidence back.

  • My Recovery Story
    A mum of two speaks of her struggle with drugs and how the impact of losing her kids gave her the strength to start and continue her recovery journey with support from local services.
 
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This is only the start

 
 
Life without alcohol
It has been just over a year since I was in Loudoun House on the six week programme for alcohol. I remember thinking when I was in Loudoun House that I can’t remember my life without alcohol, which was terrifying.

I got real  benefits from being in Loudoun House; it gave me the kick up the back side I needed to get on and move on with my life. At the time I was living in a complete dump; I had no bed, no cooking facilities, no flooring. Every single penny of my money went towards alcohol and some drugs.

This was not a good time in my life, and now anytime my mind turns to alcohol, I think back and try to remember how crazy every part of my life was back then. Alcohol completely took over my life; my mental health was in a terrible state, my physical health was far from great, I was as skinny as a rat, at one point I weighed just over 8stone (now I’m just about classed obese!)

My life has completely changed now

I have been sober in the past, but this time I took every bit of support that I was offered. I said yes to everything and gave everything a go, not everything was for me, in fact there was a couple of things that just didn’t work for me, they made me feel worse, but I was able to say so and try something else.

There is such a range of support out there. When I first came out of Loudoun
House, William from North Ayrshire Council Addiction Services really helped me. He gave me more support than I could have expected. He helped me get my house in order, apply for a grant to improve my house and took me to the places where I could get help.

I remember William asked me how I coped without a cooker, I told him that I had a microwave which cooks most things and that the only thing I miss the cooker for is boiling tatties! Back then a cooker seemed like a luxury – but now I’ve got a cooker, a washing machine, furniture in my bedrooms and carpets on my floor.

Now life is better in every possible way
Now I am physically healthy, eating every day and mentally I am fairly healthy. A wee while ago I did a pros and cons list about drinking alcohol. Other than that tipsy feeling you get after two or three drinks (that you never stop at), I couldn’t find anything else that was positive about alcohol.

Back when I was drinking I thought it gave me confidence, but it didn’t, I was scared to death about somebody, anybody coming to my door. I’ve been working with my GP to come off my anti-depressants too, it’s the first time in over 20 years that I’ve been off them. It’s been 3½ weeks and it’s weird to think that the way I am feeling – is actually how I am feeling.

Maintaining my recovery is the biggest part to me at the moment
I often think about alcohol, but I am very good at getting it out of my head now. I think back and I can see the state of me, of my life, and of my house; I can see what alcohol did to me. I am continuing to get support, and this time the support I’ve had, has been really, really good.
 
I had an additions support worker Carol, I don’t see her that often anymore but it’s because I don’t need to which is great – it is enough just knowing she is there if I need her. Cheryl the occupational therapist helps me with my anxiety and I see Tom and William on a Thursday at the activity group, this has been brilliant for me.
 
I didn’t know anyone in my area apart from people I use to drink and do drugs with, through the group I have met new friends - people who know and understand recovery. I meet one of my neighbours at the group, and now we can just drop into each other for a chat or to borrow some milk. I have people I can just pick up the phone to.
 
Giving up what you’re used to, and the people you’re used to is a big part of recovery, you need new friendship bonds. I only have one strong family relationship so it’s mainly my friends who I can just talk rubbish to and who get me by. The Thursday group itself built my circle of friends – it is so much more than just an activities group.

This is only the start of my recovery

"I have so much that I want to do and be involved with to help me move forward in my recovery. I want to get more involved in the Peer Group at Loudoun House and I want to encourage others to get involved too. I am also going to be helping William and Tom with the organisation of the allotment project. When the 8 week gardening project finished I realised how much I benefited from having a routine and how much time I spent in the house doing nothing. I am trying to get myself out more, to do stuff even if it is only 3 days per week. I am hoping to start volunteering soon. I have an interview about starting next week. But my current goal is that ‘employment will be my future!’
 
I hope to be back to work in the next 6 -8 months; I know it’s not a definite, it might happen sooner, it might be later, we’ll just wait and see how it goes, as long as I am moving forward and going in the right direction.”


 
 


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