“One change that started to evolve from this was my language; not the language I learned from other treatment centres just to sound good. A language that I could understand and also use while I was out for pro socials and overnights. This was very new to be and my awareness became very high around certain triggers such as people places and things.
“My life has changed since recovery got me, instead of me trying to get recovery. My concept before leaving was “believe in yourself and anything is possible”.
“When I went on in early recovery I stayed in Dublin for a while working within the Community Employment Scheme and attempting courses and college. This all felt a bit strange, as my experience had been leaving school early. I also faced homelessness in recovery where I was faced with humbling myself and going living in places that were overpriced while having little or no income.
“I continued to progress in education which led me back to the place I’m from and renting a nice apartment. Now I volunteer in youth project within the city, struggling with having an income once again I started up a little gardening job to make a few quid. This then led to a valeting job as well. I was even able to open a savings account, which was very foreign to me and where I came from. The WAM (Willing Able Mentoring Social Welfare Programme) helped me a lot with this.
“Once I started to show up regularly for life, opportunities then started to present themselves. This included job opportunities within the services. Even after many forms of rejection from various organisations, I kept persistent in the direction I wanted to go and have now found work that gives me that job satisfaction.
“I started trying new things like going to exercise classes and realising I don’t need to give my life story to everyone. This gave me great autonomy. I started putting myself in uncomfortable positions like white collar boxing and a few years on I was winning an Irish title in kickboxing just from showing up. I have become very fond of extreme sports such as marathon, trail running and ultra-running. For me it’s very important to still seek that positive feeling as I am aware I didn’t give my life to addiction for the bad times.
“I’m no longer renting and I’m officially a home owner and will never be threatened my landlords again to leave.
“I’m aware that it’s myself that got me here but I’m grateful for Coolmine for providing the space to find out who I am and what I’m really about.”