John found out about Community Friends through word of mouth and has now been coming for the past few months. His initial thoughts about the group were that it was only for alcoholics and drug users. He says that at that time he now realizes he was judging people – but everyone attending is just the same. John initially came along with friends for support but he now feels confident enough to come on his own. He says that it is good to come here and chat to the volunteers as it makes you feel better.
John is currently working on reducing his alcohol intake. In the past when John has been under the influence of alcohol it has made him aggressive. This has caused a breakdown in his friendships and family life, due to John often becoming violent – something that John recognizes. John was released from prison in December and during this time his girlfriend had passed away and he retreated back into his shell.
John has had issues with housing in the past and feels let down by his experience. He took an overdose as a result of the way he was feeling and the fact that he ended up in accommodation in Bellsbank – where he knew no one. It was a two hour journey back to Kilmarnock, which resulted in him feeling lonely and isolated. He feels that, as part of the process each individual person’s circumstances should be taken into account, especially their mental health. John has now made progress with his situation through ‘Letts Agree’ and now has a home.
He has been receiving support from the Bentinck Centre and is due to start a pre-induction for Detox very soon. John has made this choice himself and he feels that this is very important and will contribute to his successful recovery. John has started to write past experiences down and look at the choices he has made. He has started a reflection process so he can learn from these past situations and not make the same mistakes again.
He says that he has always known what his trigger points are but has never admitted to them until now. He is ready to move onto the next stage in his life.
He is currently doing well & stated that he is controlling his addiction to alcohol, this has been assisted by support from Addaction and rehab through Turning Point. John has been regularly attending the Gym at the Northwest Area Centre through a referral from the Vibrant Communities CHIP Team. John reflected on his journey and recognizes the damage that has been done as a result of his drinking and how selfish he once was, however he now realizes not to dwell on the past and to focus on the future. John also stated that he now realizes that how you treat other people results in how they treat you.
John stated that he is now in a good mood about life, he feels confident and able to balance things. He reflected on his previous goals and stated that he now has a house through the Council in an area of HIS choice, he has got himself a wee car and is building his relationship with his daughter and grandson, seeing them both on a regular basis. John realizes anything is possible by taking small steps and he also said that he is beginning to like himself again and enjoying his own company without alcohol.
John still enjoys popping into Community Friends when he has time and would love to give something back to others through volunteering.
John’s goals for the future include:
• To keep using the Gym to keep fit and healthy
• Continue to enjoy his own company without alcohol
• Volunteering to support others like him
• Continue to build on his relationship with his daughter and grandson