The Dark Days

I suppose I was a heavy drinker for many years from my teenage years, I was successful, I wasa head of department in hotels all my career. I would usually go home after work most nights and drink 1-2 bottles of wine, or other drinks, I could not leave anything in the bottle or until all the cans were drunk. On nights out I was the party animal that never knew when to stop drinking, the concept of just going out for a few did not exist.  I would be the one that would be staggering and falling all over the place at family events.  I never classed myself as an alcoholic, heavy drinker maybe.

When I was around 30 I was introduced to drugs, the usual clubbing ones even though I was anti-drugs before that.  My confidence went through roof on drugs, and I could remember the night and was much more fun.  When I was 32 (2006) I was diagnosed with HIV.  Up until that point, things were just about ok. 'Functioning'.  I had just bought a house. After the diagnosis it all changed, started to isolate, the drinking increased, the drugs increased much more and the different types of drugs. Falling deeper into a pit of self-pity, as well as self-destruction.  The spiral downwards continued, them internal negative condemning voices getting louder, losing more and more of myself, drinking and using more.

Within one and half years I had gone bankrupt and lost everything.  I had lost my well-paid job, had to move back to my parents.  Manage to find a new job, but a much lower position, that passion for work had gone, it had one purpose to fund my drinking and drugs.  This continued for a few more years, I had lost several other jobs but also losing self-respect, friends, family relationships.  Isolating more, loathing myself more.  I did start to admit to myself even though I had been told many times that I have got a major addiction. I would never dream of admitting I had a problem with other people.  Looking back, I wish I had, the self-destruction continued, unemployed, unhealthy. Ending with, looking like the stereotypical perception of what society calls an addict.

It continued to get worse in every respect until January 2016.  When the one person in my life that had not given up on me through everything, my mum, threw me out, I went upstairs took an intentional overdose and left somehow, I had found myself walking to the hospital.  That was my rock bottom, and it was at that point that I decided enough was enough.  I engaged with services, got myself a council flat and started to slowly rebuild my life.

The Lighter Days

Hitting my rock bottom was the opportunity to start again, a blank canvas.  For a long time, I wanted to change jobs, and I grasped this opportunity.   I had hypnotherapy early in recovery and it was amazing. So much so I decided to follow my passion that had started to come back to helping people so trained as Clinical Hypnotherapist,

I live honestly now, no lies or cover-ups.  I can actually say I like who I see in the mirror, I can say I am worthy. After qualifying, I started my own business, with the aim to help others.  I still must put work into my recovery every day, but it does get easier, however that work is worth it.  Old friends have come back into my life as well as many new ones.   The relationship with my family is the best it has ever been.   I have regained the trust and respect of those around me,

I took my addiction to the extreme, I truly believe that people do not have to hit rock bottom in order to recover.  There is no need to lose everything in their life.  Being able to look back on my life with clarity, I can see there were times when I could have taken control back. I would not want anyone to reach the dark places I went to.