My name is Mark and I have been in active addiction for 24 years. I am 38.

Where it all started…

Starting with cannabis, I found out that drugs could change the way I feel and that I liked the effect produced, in fact I loved the way they made me feel. My using moved onto coke which ruled my life for 17 years and for 3 years after that I used crack and heroin. I have made quite a few attempts to get clean in the past but nothing was able to keep me clean. I moved to a new house, had a baby, new job, new phone number, new friends all of which failed. I was being helped by the drug and alcohol services in High Wycombe, ORB, and have had quite a few key workers over the years.

“I felt that I was a hopeless addict that I was beyond help”

I lost everything – house, family, job, friends, my soul and self-respect. I would do anything to get my drugs which included, stealing from, lying to, and manipulating all those that were close to me. In the end I was suicidal, depressed and stuck. I didn’t know where to turn; I was more than likely going to end up in jail or dead. 3 months ago – I weighed 9 stone and had no self-care, and no one to turn to except my key worker at ORB.

  • Lucy, my keyworker saw a glimmer of hope and I needed to do something.

My life was such a mess I couldn’t even turn up to collect my methadone script every 2 weeks, but ORB did everything they could to help. I don’t think I deserved it let alone be worth recovery. My, how things have changed. Lucy made an application for me to go to rehab as an emergency case and I got funding. I came to rehab on the 21st March 2018, I walked through the door not knowing what to expect. I had no confidence but needed to give it a shot. I detoxed off methadone, diazepam, heroin and crack, which was hard, after which I started to work on myself. There were so many years that I used substances to make myself feel better, in fact to make me feel full stop.

It is a 12 step rehab where fellowship meetings are compulsorily 6 days a week. I threw myself into it and can honestly say I have found a new pulse in my life. I’ve started to work the 12 steps of recovery and got myself a sponsor. I have also learnt about the disease that I suffer with.

Trust god, clean house and help others

I am now over 3 months clean and have come to the realisation that I don’t have to put another drink or drug in my body for as long as I live. This is all thanks to ORB and the rehab. I had to lose everything to come to this realisation and have found a new hope in the fellowship of CA. I now have a network of friends, my family back and most importantly a new way of life. I look healthy and weigh 12.5 stone. I fill my days now with voluntary work, writing and helping others.

We have a saying in recovery – trust god, clean house and help others. From doing this I have found a way that’s possible to stay clean. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but there is a solution out there for people like me, we just have to have the willingness to try, before it’s too late. There comes a time in any addicts life, I believe, that we reach such a state of hopelessness that we can’t see a way out or a way forward and I was at that stage. I had given up but the workers at ORB hadn’t. Due to going to Rehab I have a new set of eyes, a new way of thinking and a new life. I now want to become a counsellor and do a degree in psychology to work in the recovery field.


A Poem from Mark

Untidy, dishevelled, waste of space no self-respect;
Things aren’t happening what do you expect;
What sadness, I do feel so alone;
But I’m trying not to groan;
My feelings are warped, can’t get things straight in my head;
Oh my god sometimes I wish I was dead;
Grey clouds heavy rain I can’t see straight;
Hold on relax you’ll just have to wait;
Wait a sec, the clouds are clearing, I can see;
There is a wonderful life waiting for me;
People close, they cared but I left them behind;
One sec, it’s complicated my life was intertwined;
My thoughts and feelings are hard to express;
It’s never time to put them to rest;
I’ve spoken I’ve shared quite a few times;
Now I write them down and put them into rhymes;
My fears and resentments are building inside;
I’ve got to get them down, I’ve got nothing to hide;
I can’t cower anymore, I’ve got to face the day;
If I work at this hard I won’t be led astray;
Good things are coming I know that for sure;
My life is worth it, now give me more;

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