Joshua says: “It’s all being part of an acceptance … me feeling accepted and me accepting other people. It’s a two-way thing”

“This journey at the moment it’s not just about my recovery and with abstinence, but it’s also about my recovery into society to kind of find some faith and confidence in society and a confidence in myself, and that I’m able to do it to become a part of it. Yes, I’ve done a few weeks in jail sentences, but I wasn’t part of that kind of system so much as I was more in my own sort of jail in my own head. Everything I did was more of a … it wasn’t very well thought out. I was just going through the motions in life of doing this and that and I never done anything that I really wanted to do because I didn’t think I could for one, and partly as well because I never thought it was worth it because I didn’t think there was going to be anything very much at the end of it. So yeah, so far … what are we now, a year, I think, with LandWorks, but I knew that there was something that I wanted to maintain … I wanted to keep on track with and that was a sort of goodness in people, seeing goodness in people, and it was realising that they were genuine as well over time because I wanted to believe it was genuine and because it was genuine. The cynicism in me was rife at the beginning and I wouldn’t let that show…

I wouldn’t say there’s a turning point in this journey with LandWorks, it’s very much a process and for my part it was just making sure I played my part in doing it for myself. Having some faith in other people and seeing that, I suppose, and hoping they were even when a lot of the time I was thinking they weren’t and sometimes don’t still, but I’ve got no choice. There aren’t many paths I’ve got left to go down. Yeah, it’s one of those. I’m just glad that LandWorks is there for me to help in the way it has.

For me it was just about sticking with the LandWorks thing on a daily basis and do what I felt I needed to do and just trying to be as good as I can with people and trying to let things just sort of organically sort of happen in my mental health I suppose as well. It was not necessarily looking for one thing or one thing that kind of got me or anything like that. I kind of knew that it was going to be a grind and a process for me in my head, and it still is. I suppose people have always interested me. It’s the sitting down and having dinner and the food. It’s nice to be able to just pick and choose what conversation you want to get into as well or not at all, and it’s being ok with that. I found that interesting because it’s not something I’d done. We did growing up and sitting around the table. Of course, I’ve sat around a table and had meals over the years, not often, but it was always sort of false and the connection with who was supposed to be with my loved one, my family, was always very toxic. So yeah, it’s just nice being able to develop a type of place where I can enjoy … because I love food and I love that moment. It’s nice to be able to enjoy it and feel ok about enjoying it and show your enjoyment by having a little chat with people as well. It’s just nice to see how … sort of read people. I think you do that as well. It’s all being part of an acceptance … me feeling accepted and me accepting other people. It’s a two-way thing.

I think that’s very common with people, especially in jails as well. I wouldn’t say I’m a repeat offender as it were, although it was a couple of times I was in jail for minor crimes, but it’s definitely a sort of personality type or a sort of need. Yeah, it’s a kind of a void in a person. A basic need for people is to feel connected and to feel happy in some way. I think if you’ve had a connection with people and then you lose it, you kind of know what it’s like and you know what’s missing. When you’ve not even had much of a connection with people, you feel there’s something missing … you don’t even know what it is until you have it and then it’s like, ok.

What’s next – I’m totally focused on this college thing and I’m just going to ride that one for a while and see what … yeah, I’m just trying to make some good connections there and now I’m living in *, obviously, I want to make some good connections here […] Yeah, it’s about making connections with people and adhering to my responsibilities that I’m feeling towards myself. I think that’s never ending. You can sort of brush it under the carpet, the responsibility you have towards yourself. That’s also never ending, but I think that’s a good thing, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally…

I’m always looking for inspiration through people that have been on a similar journey and that kind of thing because statistics are quite bad for people in addiction. They’re not good numbers at all and that’s always been on my mind, thinking what’s the common denominator sort of thing with those sorts of people and those decisions. I suppose it is a decision and that’s the common denominator, the decision they make. So, it’s making sure of making the right choices each day. I think it’s kind of realising that I do need people as well. I do need people and it’s not just me. I think as a human, humans do need people, don’t they, and I need to sort of knock down some barriers with that one. I think I am, but there is a kind of a barrier there, but it’s all crumbling down a bit. It takes time. Just being aware of something doesn’t necessarily make things so. When it takes so much time building something, it takes just as much time to bring it back down again.

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