Day 22 of Recovery Month brings us the story of Paul. We hope you enjoy the read!

Before I went to Changes, I was an alcoholic and my life was disintegrating around me. My marriage went down the pan, it was obviously not going to last in the state that I was in. I was becoming more alone and isolated as the days went on and I was in and out of prisons and psychiatric wards, these became my second homes and I was getting used to being at these places.

I was constantly attending AA meetings but these were no help as my life was chaotic and I wasn’t ready to make a change. At the lowest point in my life, I finally hit rock bottom and attempted to commit suicide, I then found myself back in a psychiatric ward.
I moved into supported housing, Livingstone House, and although I was still struggling there was some hope, as I was referred to Changes UK and my life started to look up instantly.

Changes gave me a place to stay this was extremely meaningful at the time. It was somewhere that was not a prison or psychiatric ward. I felt safe at Changes and was welcomed with open arms as soon as I went through the door and more importantly there was structure back in my life which has been seriously lacking for many years. The structure gave me a purpose and I was thankful to be given a purpose again.
During the academy, I developed skills and learnt new ways of dealing with my addiction, I could build on my recovery capital, they also encourage you to continue to attend mutual aid meetings and I continued to go AA meetings. I was part of a community.

The other benefit of being involved with Changes, is their volunteering program which following the academy enables you to give back, keep a structure and a purpose to continue to move forward, I volunteered within the maintenance team, alongside Pawel and this gave me the experience to build on my confidence before moving into working again.

There is still a lot of structure in my life now as I have a full-time job with Birmingham City Council. I work a long week from Monday to Friday, sometimes it’s tiring but I enjoy the work and most of all being a productive member of society.

I am over 4 and half years sober and I constantly attend AA meetings which give me help and support in staying sober and I hope to continue the way I am and how I am feeling.

I am happy, I have direction and purpose; I couldn’t ask for much more.