Real Life Stories E

Before I arrived at Mulberry I’d been struggling with drink and drugs. My drinking was getting progressively worse the more I lost and the more I lost the more I drank. The break up of a long term relationship was when I picked up heroin again which I had not used for over 14 years. With that the relationship with my step son ended, I started losing good friends and making bad ones. I lost my dogs, house, car etc etc. Soon after I ruined my business and work reputation. I kept letting people down who were giving me work. This included my uncle who had trained me up as a decorator, who I had worked with and lived with on and off all my life. I lost my work car after crashing it while I was ferrying about drug dealers and I was lucky not to get convicted of drink and drug driving. 

 There was a lot of chaos and I was living in one room of my flat which has been deemed uninhabitable by the council. I was in my own prison, the drink and drugs was taking its toll on my body and health. 

 After one failed detox I finally asked for rehab and was given a chance after proving that was what I wanted. I went into a 28 day detox and then into a 6 month rehab. I was discharged early from rehab for breaking the rules and I found myself back in my old flat feeling that I had completely failed. I went on a 2 day bender, that wasn’t going to change anything or sort out my problems.

So after sobering up I phoned Keith and he rescued me from the situation putting me into one of the Mulberry houses. Having the weight of financial problems, paying bills etc and the support of the Mulberry staff and peers helped me get back on track and into recovery. They helped me get back into a routine, get to meetings, sort out my health by getting to the doctors and hospital appointments, start rebuilding bridges with family and friends and to start looking after myself and feeling better about myself and my future. I started helping others and in recognition of this Green Pastures, the charity that helped Mulberry start up, awarded my £50 which helped me get some tools I needed to get back to work. I tried working for Jobs Friends and Houses for a couple of months but I didn’t feel ready for full time work. So Mulberry needed help with the maintenance of the houses and moving residents in or out so they got me insured on their van to do this. 

My time at Mulberry hasn’t all been good and plain sailing though. I had a friend who was struggling and had a relapse since the time we went through detox together. He was living in an awful bedsit in Blackpool town centre and was finding it hard to stay stable on a methadone script. I helped him to stop using street drugs get off his methadone and into the Mulberry Project. After a tough few months he was living with me, back in touch with his family, doing a couple of days work and doing really well in his recovery. For whatever reason he picked up and ended up taking an overdose from which he passed away. This knocked me 6 months and I withdrew into myself. Even though Mulberry staff and peers were there for me I couldn’t move on. The staff and peers were all extremely fond of him so it was a tough time for all. On the day of the inquest into my friends death I was at the hospital visiting my Uncle who had now almost drank himself to death and was in a bad way. He passed away a week later. This was hard for me to deal with as he was a big part of my life. I did end up using. 

Mulberry didn’t turn their back on me though. I was given consequences but supported with some counselling, help from peers, key working sessions and Keith was and always is there to talk to and have a brew with. With all the help and support I managed to pull myself back from those losses and things have started to turn around over the last few months. I have been a lot more positive about things and good stuff is happening again. I’ve been helping a bit with the maintenance of the houses. I’ve been to visit my Dad who lives in Spain where I’ve not been in years and only seen him once at my Uncle’s funeral. I’ve done a beginner’s course in Spanish so now I know the basics for when I want to visit! I’ve spent time with my sister and nephews who I rarely see. I’m starting a vehicle repair and spray course at college so am now a full time student and best of all I’ve been in a steady relationship for 6 months.  

None of this would’ve been possible if it wasn’t for the help and support of Mulberry. I can honestly say that they have helped me to save my life as if I had been on my own during the last year when I picked up I wouldn’t have put it down. I would have given up and carried on using until the bitter end when the lights go out. I can’t thank them enough.