The following was written by a client from one of our supported housing projects.
My whole life has been based around alcohol, drugs and violence, I never knew what emotions were like or experienced any in my drinking days. I knew if I carried on living like this, I would end up in prison or dead, prison got to me first.
Going to prison was the start to changing my life and making me the man I am today. While my time in prison was horrible not knowing when my cell door would open and when it did, was it a prison officer or another prisoner come to beat me up. I decided to look for opportunities to better myself. I completed all the courses I could and became a classroom helper in the health and wellbeing course, Naomi the teacher taught me that it’s OK to talk about things rather than let them overload your mind with bad thoughts. I also completed all the alcohol and drug groups which taught me to relax without having to use alcohol and the best way of dealing with situations and emotions.
When I was released from prison, I moved into a Julian house project which is a dry house, I was nervous to start with, then I met Sarah my key worker and felt at ease. Sarah is always there to listen to you and help you with any situations. Julian house has kept me sober, I still think about alcohol but knowing I am in a dry house helps to keep me sober. My target every day is not to drink.
I now have a loving partner, stepdaughter, daughter and granddaughter who are in my life, I know I am not alone, I can jump on a bus to see my family when I like which is a good feeling. My thinking is changing to how I see my life in the future.
I use my time wisely and like to keep myself busy. There is a gym in the dry house that I can use 24/7. I have decorated rooms in the house and have been keeping the garden and house clean and tidy.
My main targets are setting goals to better myself, I am volunteering at the Julian house bike workshop which I love and have met some good friends there. I have also completed a first aid course with Julian house and met some of the other residents from other houses while at the course who were friendly.
I have realised in the past I made every day hard work and thought things were impossible to change. Now I write a daily plan, set achievable goals. I’ve learnt how to compromise so everyone is happy, I find a balance in every situation an example of this is the windows in the house, when I was in prison, I was in a box 8ft by 10ft with no option to open a window I didn’t realise how good fresh air feels until it was taken away, I would like the window always open but know that others in the house don’t, I compromised using times when and when not, to have them open while I am living in a shared house.
Thank you to everybody that has helped me to come this far, I will continue to make my daily plans and set achievable goals.