I had a drink problem. It’s developed from a very minor drink problem into a severe drink problem in the last 10 years. My whole life, from being a father and a partner to my ex-partner, and a house and everything else, to sort of not having anything at all. I ended up drinking a hell of a lot more than I ever did and then I eventually went to prison. The first time was six weeks and the second time was for 10 weeks.
The last time I ended up in hospital I collapsed in the street, just around the corner from my room. I collapsed in the street because the shop I used to go to … they didn’t want to serve me early in the morning and they’d just opened, and I tried to get another bottle of vodka and they didn’t serve me. My legs could hardly work. Peripheral Neuropathy kicked in quite strong. It had been going on for a long time. I knew when it started, but I just didn’t want to think about it, but eventually it got to the point where you just can’t work at all. It was trouble getting anywhere and I just thought I’ve had enough. It was early in the morning, I collapsed, and eventually somebody called the ambulance and I went in the hospital for a week, detoxed me, came out, I was a bit better, drank again, straightaway again on the vodka.
I was drinking two litres of vodka a day, to the point where I couldn’t even get out of my room to get another drink, even though I needed one. I was talking to a drug and alcohol worker and she said what’s going on, obviously you’re drinking. I said yeah, but I can’t go and get a drink, I can’t get one. She said why not? I said my legs don’t work. I couldn’t move my legs. I lived in the basement room of the house. She said what are you going to do? I was like, well, I’m going to try and just do cold-turkey and shake it out. She said I can’t let you do that. I was like, ok, but I don’t want to ring the ambulance because I don’t want to waste resources and have the embarrassment of the whole thing. She said well, I’ll ring them then. I was like, well, you do what you’ve got to do. So, she rang them, and they came and went to the hospital. They kept me in for two weeks because my bloods weren’t very good. My bloods were all over the place. They gave me a talking to about the damage I’d done to my body and things like that. They kind of scared me quite a lot, I suppose you could say. So yeah, two weeks and by the time I did get back home I thought yeah this has got to be it, this is it, I’ve really got to put my all into staying sober and not wanting a drink.
LandWorks is one of the places that has helped me maintain a focus, definitely. I have this connection as well, this connection with everything and meeting people, the connection, and doing things I enjoy. There’s some kind of hope as well because at the end of the day, it’s a pretty miserable existence out there when you’re on your own and you’ve got nothing. It might be through fault of your own, however you want to argue about that, but when you’ve got nothing you still … I mean, everyone deserves a chance to get on their feet and it can be very hard. Sometimes you need a little help to kind of see the light as it were or even reminded of what kind of life you could have, you know, reminded of what kind of person you could be or was. That kind of thing.
As corny as it sounds, it’s the hope, isn’t it? What keeps people in addiction is struggling with the chemistry in their brain, depression. What drugs and alcohol does to your brain is it does deplete the natural feel good feelings and your self-esteem and all that kind of stuff. After all that, what you think you’ve done through all the hard work of getting off something, you are still left with pretty much a shell of what you could be. So, you do need help, you do need something to hold onto, otherwise you just go back to the way it was and go back to what you were doing before. If I did that as quickly as I could’ve done, then I could be dead now. That’s not exaggerating because I know people that are younger than me who have been in exactly the same situation and you end up just dead through whatever fault I don’t know, of their own or maybe they didn’t get enough help, either way, something’s not right is it. So yeah, hope and feel like you’ve been accepted a little bit, despite what you might feel is your failings or faults. You have that feeling that you’ve been accepted and it’s ok. That essentially is the most important part because most people in this situation would have quite a few years of feeling inadequate, whether it started off when they were younger due to their upbringing or whatever, but more than likely their upbringing. So yeah, it’s just going back to basics, feeling accepted. It’s a place to build your confidence and a place to get some self-esteem, somewhere to rebuild yourself, somewhere where you can give yourself some kind of foundation to get some kind of life again.
LandWorks? I like the fact that it’s quiet, it’s where it is. It’s situated in the country. Everybody is really nice, patient with people. I see how they’re patient with everybody else as well. People may feel a bit more awkward than I do. I hope you don’t mind, but I do observe how you deal with certain personalities. I’ve always liked to people watch and observe, to the point where sometimes I say something and I think oh, did I overstep the mark there, was I rude? Because I feel comfortable, I might get a bit too excited and then I think should I have said that, was I being a bit out of order there? I’ve worked with Lucy quite a few days now, being here, and she’s roughly the same age as me. We share a joke or whatever […] At the end of the day, I enjoy coming here.