I was born in Bristol in 1971. I lived with Dad, mum and my youngest sister. All my role models were people who had money and were doing crime and selling drugs like cannabis and acid tablets in those days. I suppose I started doing crime when I was nearly 11. In school times, I just felt wild and I had to toughen up very quickly. I think that's how I got my stutter, through fear and worry. I had lack of confidence, I felt differently, I acted differently from the other kids. I wanted to be a nasty person and a bully and that, so I was.
I had progressed through solvent abuse to marijuana and acid tabs etc. (I) was in the rave scene and I was selling ecstasy and pot. I used to take it now and again, but I was more into making money. Then we started doing our own parties in Bristol in the warehouses and in my early twenties we were going in the local pubs. I got banned from a few of them so I couldn’t hang out with my alcohol mates so I started selling heroin. There was a lot of money to be made in it back then and eventually I started smoking it. I started doing heroin when I was 23 and then crack soon after.
This all went on until last year, I got arrested for drink driving and put on probation which is how my recovery has started. I started doing men's groups first with BDP (Bristol Drugs Project) and then they put me on the prep programme. I went up to the Junction for housing support so I had to be abstinent as well. I was going to NA meetings from the start as well and SMART meetings. Then I went to a recovery day programme with BDP and after finishing BDP I was off my script from 30th Nov. In Jan 20th they put me in abstinent houses and I started the LITE project as well. And since then I’ve been completely abstinent. I find it brilliant. I feel great apart from being a bit fat ;) It's very nice waking up in the morning not having to worry about methadone, and taking drugs and shoplifting.
I’m looking to going back to college so I can get my certificates for plastering and rendering. I’m learning patio making and block paving and fence building which will qualify me for an NVQ. Its been hard but I’ve had the right support. Ive been very lucky, every one I’ve met has been really helpful. Encouragement is the number one thing, that's what really helped me, everyone I’ve worked with has been really encouraging. I put the work in and I’m getting the fruits from my labour now.