This is Sam's story in his own words.
*Sam’s name and some details have been changed to protect his privacy.
I was suffering homelessness and I was in the midst of a relapse, when I met Jordan. He recommended I get involved with Reset*.
Reset has made me look at life differently and it’s made me realise that I wasn’t really wasting my time in the first place being abstinent. Since working with Reset I’ve decided to become abstinent again. I’m very pleased I came across Reset.
Reset are working to get me into a rehab. I’m waiting for that at the moment. I’m also trying to get into housing in Tower Hamlets.
The groups have done me the world of good. It keeps me on the ball seeing where it could take me and where I could be. There are people there a little less fortunate than me. This has helped me along. This grounds me and humbles me. There are people who are in a worse position than me, and my situation could be worse if I don’t keep my eye on the ball. It’s a sense of direction and focus.
I’d like to be long term abstinent, get into housing and employment or maybe do a course – maybe a bit of re-education. I wasn’t up for it at first, but they wanted me to teach recovery. Maybe I’ll give it a go over the next couple of years. Social and health. I think it would be worth it if I could pass the knowledge and experience on and help someone else.
I want to keep myself sober and drug-free and look at my diet needs. I tend not to eat when I’m drinking, but I’ve put some weight on so I’m grateful for that. I’ve been focussing on work and I also have children so I have to be accountable.
We’re prideful people and we don’t like to ask for help and I’ve found this to be the wrong attitude along the way. We have to embrace change and at least look into pre-abstinence groups and meetings. At least put a foot on the ladder. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but your quality of life will be much, much better. Or we’ll carry on drinking and using until we die and there has to be a better alternative to that. So I would say go for recovery, somehow or another. Give it a go. There’s organisations like Reset, and Providence Row and other organisations who won’t turn you away. They won’t laugh, they’ve seen it before. They know the situation and they won’t judge you. Lose your pride and embrace these sorts of programmes.
If you have the money donate, because you’re helping someone who is homeless and some who has an addiction problem. It’s an illness. You would be helping out by giving money to organisations. Especially getting people off the streets which is a great help. Breaking that never ending cycle. Many people use and drink because of a homelessness situation. If you have the time, give it. You’re giving something special. In my case I’m giving something back because I’ve been through it. But even if you haven’t been through it, you’re still contributing and giving something to people who are. It’s very rewarding. It can be challenging, but very rewarding.
The quality of life really improves every day you’re off substances and alcohol. The clearer and more focused you can be. But we all need help, so thanks to Reset, Providence Row and other organisations that give us the help we need.
*The London Borough of Tower Hamlet's commissioned Drug and Alcohol Integrated Treatment system made up of outreach, treatment and recovery support.