3-9 John Finnie St, Kilmarnock KA1 1BL

Josh – Kilmarnock

Growing up, I often felt like I didn’t quite belong. My parents split when I was very young due to domestic violence, and this cast a dark shadow over my early life. My mum entered another abusive relationship, one filled with violence that targeted her, my older sister, and me. From a tender age, I bore witness to horrendous acts that no child should ever endure. I was trapped in a world where fear was my constant companion.

My childhood was marked by shyness and awkwardness, especially at school where it seemed like everyone else had their lives figured out. But for me, life was a daily struggle as I was in constant fear for my mum’s safety. These fears drove me to act out and get into trouble, an escape from the terrifying reality that unfolded at home. In my teenage years, my world became even more turbulent.

At that time, my mum left her abusive partner, but what followed was even worse. Her new partner introduced heroin into our lives, forcibly making her use it in front of me and my sister. The nightmare continued as my mum became a victim of physical and psychological abuse. She was tied up, burned with cigarettes, forcibly injected with drugs, beaten, and manipulated. All this happened as I was entering secondary school, and my head was far from in the right place. In my search for refuge from the horrors of home life, I turned to substance abuse and criminal activities.

I had stolen and shoplifted to feed the desires of my addiction. I had already become familiar with the juvenile justice system by the time I was a teenager. The routine meals and the sense of community in detention made life bearable. But it was in prison that I decided to take a darker path.

After my release, I got further entangled in the drug trade, making substantial money but sinking deeper into addiction. I was now a young adult, but I was caught in a vicious cycle of daily partying, suffering from recurring seizures. A hospital visit revealed the damage my alcohol abuse had done to my organs, with a dire warning that continuing to drink could be life-threatening.

I decided to turn to the very drugs I had been selling. It was initially for comfort, but the effects on my life were devastating. I spiraled into addiction, losing touch with reality and damaging every relationship I had. It wasn’t long before I found myself at the lowest point in my life.

But then, something changed. I found help at the EACH Recovery Matters. They welcomed me with open arms and provided the support and guidance I desperately needed. There, I became engaged in support services, started volunteering, and got involved in 12-step meetings. It was through these steps that I finally achieved sobriety.

Today, I have a better understanding of my condition, and I continue to learn and grow each day. My story is a testament to the power of recovery and the support available at the EACH Recovery Matters. There is hope, and I am living proof that even in the darkest of times, it is possible to find your way back to the light.

To anyone out there struggling, don’t be afraid to seek help, and don’t lose hope. Recovery is possible, and your journey can start today.