Ive been an addict for most of my adult life in one way or another, everything I did, I did to the extreme. Cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD and alcohol I abused them all, never knew when to stop.

After becoming a father I quit the illegal stuff and settled into “normal” life only using alcohol as a means of escape on a weekend. Slowly but surely my weekends became longer and longer until I was drinking ever night, but saw this as normal because its legal, like most do.

About 8 years ago I got up for work one day shaking and sweating but shrugged it off as some sort of bug and went about my day. By the afternoon I was feeling dreadful and was sent home. I had a drink to help me sleep and within an hour I felt well again so I continued to drink. I woke the next morning feeling worse but his time I had a quick snort of JD and felt fine and off to work I went.

This went on for years getting worse and worse until I lost my job, my house, my wife, everything to drink. I finally decided I needed to stop drinking, detoxed and stayed sober for 2 months. At this point I told myself I was in control, I really cant imagine Christmas and New Year without a drink, I should test myself by just having a couple to prove I was in control again.

A week later I came round in hospital after vomiting blood and collapsing near my local tesco with a bag full of booze, full of remorse for what I had done. I vowed never to drink again. I was visited by forward Leeds in hospital but I didn’t need their help, I could do this on my own, how would talking to a bunch of strangers possibly help me with my problems?

This 2 month cycle continued until just before Christmas last year, I finally realised I couldn’t do this alone and I had been warned by the doctors the next time I came in it would be on a cold slab.

I reluctantly went to my appointment with forward Leeds who pointed me in the direction of various services, S.M.A.R.T. being one of them. I was “dragged” to my first meeting, vowing I wouldn’t speak up, horrified at the thought of group therapy. To my surprise I was the first to speak and was a little shocked at what came out. When I left the meeting for the first time in a long time I felt good, without the aid of drink or drugs, like I had taken a little step in the right direction.

Since then I’ve attended a group almost every day, a bit of a meeting junkie I suppose but with each meeting I learn from others a bit more about myself. Ive stopped counting how many days sober now as I felt this was a trigger, I live in the moment, its all I have but continue to take little steps toward big changes.

Sober for……!