Today is Day 19 of Recovery Month. Today’s story follows the journey of James Richardson. We hope you enjoy the read!

Hi, my name is James and I’m a recovered drug addict.

So, after 23 years of using mind altering substances, numerous job losses, many prison sentences and destroying my family I found myself in Gloucester House, a Rehabilitation Centre for drug addicts & alcoholics.

Whilst I was there I was introduced to another recovered drug addict, who then proceeded to disturb me around the question of alcoholism. I finally found out was wrong with me, I could get clean but i always relapsed for no reason. I suffered with a chronic relapse condition; I had a problem that centered in my mind…

I was introduced to a 12-step fellowship and a program of action. I didn’t question it, I could see that it had worked in others. It was clearly a matter of life and death!!

This was the start of an amazing journey, slowly rebuilding my life and learning how to improve the life of others. After 4 months, my time came to an end and I was offered an opportunity to come to Changes UK in Birmingham, I was so happy to be accepted.

I was welcomed with open arms, the staff and residents made me feel so welcome and again I felt safe after years of chaos and self-destruction. It was cool to be surrounded by people in recovery and to have the love and support of the Changes UK Team. I moved forward and progressed from Stage 3 to Stage 4 independent living, I was trusted & seen as someone with integrity. I’ve volunteered and had paid employment with Changes UK over the last few years. Since leaving Changes UK I have maintained a great relationship with the staff and ex-residents who I still see and speak to regularly.

I have completely recreated my life from what it once was. My family have also recovered, my mum is my best friend and I now have a relationship with my daughter.

I am currently living on my own in a marvellous part of Birmingham, I am a productive member of the community and I have a wonderful partner. I am involved with a 12 Step fellowship and my biggest passion is helping others that were just as hopeless as me…

Thank You Changes UK
Love James X