I have been fighting addiction for many years which has brought a lot of pain into my life. It was hard to stop using drugs and alcohol but I’ve finally found the strength and willingness.  I don’t have to use any substance to hide anymore. Now I have choices, I am not a slave of my own pain anymore and I choose to live in sobriety because I like it. I have confidence in my ability to cope.

I decided to look for help and a bit of guidance; I found Medway Time to Change at Open Road. I started coming to the support groups and they soon became the platform for me to start rebuilding my life and my confidence. Attending the meetings every morning gave me structure – a reason to get out of bed and to look forward each day.

I have been to prison and I spent nearly a year in an Immigration Detention Centre. I have been going back and forth to court appealing an Asylum Claim so that I can stay in this country because I have serious concerns about my welfare if I am sent back to my country of origin.

When I was released from the Detention Centre, I was broken. My head was all over the place and I was in a emotional mess. Everything was too overwhelming, I was lost and didn’t know where to start. I was very ashamed of myself, of my addiction, of being in prison. I had no confidence, no love for myself. I was just blocking my emotions; it became like a pressure cooker, ready to explode.

I’ve been in recovery for 2 years and 8 months now. I’ve been working very hard on reorganising my life with the support of the 12 Step Programme alongside Medway Time to Change. I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself and I have been growing a lot; I have learnt that there is a lot more about me rather than just being an addict. I have found all this goodness in me and I feel love for myself.

I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone in every sense. I do voluntary work for a charity 20 hours a week. I am involved with some of the training programmes provided by Time to Change and I am more confident with socialising and connecting with people.

Certainly I had to face a few challenges but that has earned me a lot of respect for myself because I know that at the other end I am going to feel like a stronger person. Fear was a feeling that had controlled my entire life. Now courage has become my biggest asset because I am prepared to face whatever is to come. All of that fear of the unknown is gone as I know that whatever happens tomorrow I’ll be able to deal with it. All those little anxieties that use to take the best of me are now under control.