My whole life has been a rail road wreck for 25 years all for the love and hate of substance misuse.
Here is a brief journey from the start of it all through to this day.
From an early age at school I knew I was different. I never struggled academically or with the amount or quality of friends I had. It was always just a battle within myself, finding out in later life I had ADHD but by then to late with addition deeply routed.
I turned to drugs when I was 16 years old in 1993 because I could not deal with the day to day and frustration and busyness of all my thoughts, feeling and emotions. Doing drugs altered my mind set and made me feel accepted let me deal with myself on a short term basis. It worked, only to find myself getting deeper and deeper in to a world of pain and addiction.
I started on street drugs such as speed, acid and extacsy, and I didn’t really help my cause by getting involved in the underground house music scene were drugs where the norm. There I discovered cocaine…. My life was then ruined. So from 1993 to 1995 on street drugs, then from 1995 to 2013 constantly taking cocaine with a habit hitting hundreds of pounds per week, throwing into the mix of that, in 2000, the death of my father who was my best mate. As you can imagine everything accelerated from the on. I was in such a dark place and saw no way out. As I was always able to fund it so saw no end, just more torture.  My mental health at this point was crucified along with my physical health, not to mention everyone I trampled on through my life of insanity… Family, friends, loved ones. I had no self control, no self respect and was a ticking time bomb. In 2013 I opened my own clothes shop through a design competition I won with Walsall council and should have been a turning point and a sign for me to realise my potential but instead sub-consciously thought i was invincible and used it in a way to turn to harder drugs, crack and heroin took hold of me. 
It was the worst 6 years I ever been through in my whole life wishing I was dead on a daily basis…. Days and nights of drug induced paranoia and schizophrenia , lack of food, hygiene know were to be seen and barely existing,  thinking when will all this end. Constantly smoking my own life away into oblivion….. It went on and on.
I was finally brought to my knees and reached out for help of someone I knew from a church I went to. He pointed me in the direction of Changes. He had also been through Changes and evidence was there to be seen with his life fully on track.  I was a little scared boy inside, full of fear and self pitty blaming everyone but me. But with the desire to stop using I put down my last drug on the 15th January 2019 probably thinking it would be temporary and not really expecting any miracles. But knew I had to have some faith in what I knew of the program.  I stepped through the door of Changes on the 23rd January 2019 to be met by some beautiful people who made sense in what they said and did. I would be lying if I said I didn’t fight the program for the first 4 weeks, but hey after 25 years of addition I guess that was normal. The academy staff and volunteers were amazing and showed love and compassion while been fair and strict. I cannot thank everyone in Changes enough for what they do. For once in my life I can cope with my own self and cannot wait for what the future holds and fulfill my ambitions