My name is Jak, I’m 28 years old and I’m a recovering addict.
So when i was about 14-15 years old i started going out onto the local park, drinking, shop hanging with friends to get a packet of cigarettes and some white lightning, and nothing really stood out then until I was about 16-17 when i started going out to the local bars and pubs, I looked a lot older than I actually am.
I started using cocaine, on a Friday or Saturday night when i was out, and I loved it. It gave me the confidence to go up and talk to women, it gave me confidence to get on the dance floor and dance, it was a party drug for me and an ego boost for me.
When I was 18, I was in the pub with my mum watching a united match and my dad was working away and my girlfriend at the time had broken her arm and so I’d left the pub early, and my dad had picked my mum up. I got home at about half past 12 / 1 o’clock in the morning, and in the middle of the night I heard my dad shouting. Both me and sister got up and went to the landing, and my dad was saying there was something wrong with my mum.
We rang 999 and we did CPR and my mum passed away that night.
I was 18 years old and a mummy’s boy and she was gone, and I didn’t know what to do, i didn’t know how to react. If anything i just ran away.
I worked as a support worker for the elderly for quite a few years, and i went into supporting children with behavioural problems, and I loved it, and I started to feel like me again. But my dad became ill, i was 24 at the time and he went into hospital and sadly he passed away after a long battle with his illness.
I was 25 years old without any parents and that’s where my drug abuse took off.
So I have a little girl, she was 6 weeks old when i came into recovery. I wasn’t a father before i came into recovery, i couldn’t gain a bond with my daughter. It’s quite upsetting when you have a child – and all the way through my upbringing i thought i was going to be a fantastic father just like my father and my grandfather and the men in my life i thought i’d thrive on that opportunity to become a father and i didn’t match up to it.
A lot of my addiction, I denied it/ I was in denial, I lied, I would lie about anything i would create drama in my life so I had an excuse to go out and use. I’d start an argument with my partner to go out and use, you know i would deny my drug use for a long time.
Leading up to actually finally admitting I had a problem that to be fair had been staring me in the face for a long time, a lot of my family members and my friends tried to help me, and at one point even my drug dealer said don’t you think you’re taking a bit too much? And I lied, I said it wasn’t for me, but it was. A lot of my friends and my family did try and help me and I brushed it under the carpet, I said you’re barking up the wrong tree there’s nothing wrong with me. They would sit me down, and beg me to stop, and I couldn’t.
It all boiled down to one night, I’d had an argument with my partner, and I’d gone out and I’d used. And i got home and enough was enough she was ready to go with my child, and I broke down I locked myself in my daughters room and I got on the internet and I knew there and then that something had to change. I had that gift of desperation to change, and that’s where I found Acquiesce
It was a Sunday night and I rang Danielle up and it was the first time i’f been truly honest with anybody and not said a little lie to get away with another lie, and another lie, it was ‘I am messed up and I need some help’ and that was the first time i’d properly reached out with the determination to make a change in my life.
It was nice to finally admit and to be around people, because i thought i was on my own, I thought I was the only person who suffered with addiction, the only person that couldn’t stop taking drugs, and it was nice to go somewhere where that was the main focus, people in recovery, and it was nice to see some hope. And watching other people go through the same journey as you are going through at that time, you get a bond that I’ve never even felt like, and i’ve got got a special group of friends that I still keep in contact with 18 months down the line.
A lot of my sessions with my key worker talking about my mental health, because i did suffer with that, I suffered with depression and anxiety quite a lot, and funny enough, as my drug use obviously stopped, some of my anxiety stopped. But there was still obviously something hurting deep inside, and that was grief. I didn’t know anything about grief, i just thought you were sad after someone passed away and you got over it. And I was taught more about it, and how I could deal with that. We made a plan of how I would continue living the life that I wanted to live and becoming the person that i wanted to become.
I thought growing up and through my addiction that an addict was usually a heroin addict, homeless, someone whose life is completely at rock bottom. My life hit rock bottom, and I still had a car, I still had a family, still had a job to a certain degree.
Today I live my life, and I still have my down days, my bad days, but nothing compared to that level of pain. I don’t actually know what my future holds for me, but i know what it doesn’t hold for me, and thats alcohol and drugs. The cocaine broke me, bit i managed to rebuild my life, rebuild myself, and I’m excited for the future now.