“My life before Coolmine was a mess. It was in complete chaos. My daily routine consisted of using or looking for the next fix. I lived in complete squalor and my health was in a shocking state, both physically and mentally. My mental state was not good and I was in a very dark place. I was unable to manage my emotions in a positive way and constantly turned to drugs and alcohol to try and bury them. As my addiction progressed this became harder and harder and involved using more and more just to try and feel “Normal”.
“I started in Coolmine in 2018. I’ll always remember it. It was June and we were having a great summer, it was very hot and the trees and flowers were in full bloom. It’s always something I remember vividly. Having been in prison for the past 12 months I had grown accustomed to grey concrete and black tarmac so experiencing this for the first time in a long time felt great.
“Coming into Coolmine was a huge achievement for me. I remember being collected by the nursing staff in the little old blue Ford Fiesta. They were very welcoming and made me feel at ease. I was full of fear and trepidation not knowing what to expect. When I arrived, I was greeted by my “Big Brother”. All the clients and staff made me feel very welcome. This was something very unfamiliar to me, especially people being friendly without any other motive.
“Since being in recovery my life has changed immensely. I’m back working as a painter and decorator and can hold down full-time employment. I can be reliable and depended on when needed. I’m also currently employed by Coolmine and have 2 different roles. I’m a Graduate Co-Ordinator and Weekend Support Worker. This was something very unexpected as I never thought I would have any interest in helping other people. Next year I will be studying for a Level 7 in Addiction Studies and am really looking forward to this challenge.
“Being in recovery is one of the best decisions of my life. Learning how to overcome the trauma and challenging times in my life, without resorting to drugs has been a God send. I will always be grateful and remember where I came from. Recovery for me is about connection. Connection with family, friends and more importantly a connection with myself. Being able to put my head on the pillow at night, knowing I haven’t hurt myself or anyone else is priceless. Your toughest day in recovery is still 100 times better than your toughest day in addiction.”