My name is ND and I am an addict. Before coming to Livingstone House every aspect of my life was in disorder.
Over the years I had driven the people who loved me away with my selfish, anti-social behaviour. My mother, my father, my brothers, even my own son had distanced themselves from me for their own protection. I was homeless, living on the street, begging and eating out of bins, waking up each morning in abject terror, wondering how I was going to get the money for another drink or drug. It led me to crime and prison as well as hospitals and psychiatric units. I was at breaking point. Too afraid to live and too afraid to die. The services had given up on me, my family had given up on me and I had given up on myself.
A soon as I walked through the door at Livingstone House, I felt that little bit more peaceful. Like a survivor of a violent storm, I surveyed the wreckage of my life and Livingstone House gave me the tools to rebuild. It wasn’t easy. Intense group therapy sessions as well as one-to-one counselling helped me to identify the areas of my life, past and present that had driven me to use drugs and alcohol to cope. The fellowship and camaraderie I received from my fellow peers, all recovering addicts, all in the same boat, gave me the strength and encouragement I needed to get through each day clean and sober. I learned new ways to deal with the situations in everyday life that my family and friends seemed to so easily cope with, but had bewildered me to the point where I sought refuge in substance abuse. I learned about why I had been using, and with their help and advice I now believe that I never have to use again.
I am now nearly 16 months clean and sober and my life has improved and continues to improve exponentially. My family are back in my life now and I have a wonderful relationship with my mother and father who are both very proud of me. I am proud of myself. I am about to complete a college diploma and will be attending university in September. I work as a volunteer part time at Livingstone House because I am so grateful for the help they have given me that I want to give back.
I have made some of the very best friends I have ever had through Livingstone House, lifelong friends who understand me. Livingstone House saved my life, not just in the literal sense, but in that it has afforded me the opportunity to have a life. I am finally reaching my potential and in that process I have become a productive, contributing member of society.