I am someone who was crippled by an 18-year addiction to alcohol and cocaine. It all started when I was 16 years of age and joined a gang. During my years as a gang member, I was constantly exposed to cocaine and this led me to abuse the substance beyond my control. My alcohol and cocaine use spiralled and it landed me in prison on multiple occasions. I was knee deep in a very dark and vicious cycle and could not see a way out. I truly believed I would die as a result of the chaotic life I was tangled up in.
In June of last year, I was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital after nearly suffering a heart attack. After my initial check-up, it was agreed that I would undergo a six-day inpatient-detox. I completed my detox on the 3rd of July and on the same day, I came to Change Grow Live Waltham Forest to undergo an assessment.
From that day onwards, I attended the Service every day and participated in all the groups that were available to me. Change Grow Live staff were very helpful and pointed me in the right direction throughout my time as a service user. After my care was complete, I enrolled on an eight week Peer Mentor course. When the course finished and I was offered a Peer Mentor placement, which is what I am doing now.
I have been free from alcohol and cocaine for just over 11 months now and my aim is to reach my one year anniversary, in the coming weeks.
My dream is to become a recovery coordinator at Change Grow Live and I am dedicated to reaching my goal.