“My name is Mickey; recovery from alcohol is something I’ve wanted for a long time because all through my life alcohol has destroyed everything I’ve achieved. I’ve lost relationships, my home and jobs. I started drinking when I was 15 and although I’ve had some good times with drink, the majority of times I’ve lost a lot of things and been to prison through drinking. I’m now concerned about my health and realise I can’t carry on the way I have been.
“I first accessed Doncaster Alcohol Services a few years ago where I met staff and other people with the same issues. It was great, really great. I loved being around safe people and enjoyed taking part in the group discussions and the staff were fantastic.
“This is my second time around after relapsing; I do tend to turn to drink when faced with problems. Being at New Beginnings helps me because I’m around safe people, the staff help me, the groups do a lot for me and I’m putting 100% in now and I do want to live life without drink. I don’t want to be going to court anymore, I want to be able to keep a place to live and have stability, hold down a job and be there for my kids as they are growing up.
“I’ve lost count of the jobs I’ve lost through drinking and making excuses not to go in. I did a detox whilst attending Focus on Recovery Groups and came to New Beginnings as quick as I could to start participating in groups. I’ve got my own views on things but it’s great here because everyone seems to have an alternative view about what helps them in their recovery which I pick up and carry on in my life.
“I’ve just started the Day Programme here at New Beginnings and seriously thinking about asking to live here because my house mate is drinking all the time and it’s an obvious trigger for me. At the moment I know I can’t drink socially and it has to be totally abstinent, I’m avoiding going into town because I know a lot of drinkers and once I start I wouldn’t stop.
“When you’re drinking you don’t realise the impact it has on people especially your kids. Without drink in your life you can focus and give 100% to the needs of children plus it’s not giving them the idea it’s not good for them to do. I’m in the middle of the process to get access back to my children and being drunk wouldn’t allow me to do these things.
“Alcohol got me 8 years in prison for armed robbery. I was sleeping rough and got in with the wrong crowd. I was drunk and robbed a post office; thought I would live the high life, buy a villa in Spain all nonsense that the drink was telling me.
“The longest I’ve been without a drink was 12 months when I was at Fullwood with Doncaster Alcohol Services, I could have stayed another year but then got in with my ex-partner and started drinking again. I’ve come to the conclusion that my life is like a game of snakes and ladders, full of ups and downs but it’s how I deal and cope with things is what I’m learning at New Beginnings. I know bad times are going to happen, the main thing is learning tools to cope with it without the need to drink.”