By the time I was 17yrs old I was a daily drinker and I think I hid it quite well but looking back now I don’t know! I had always worked in car sales and had a good job, in the industry, but none of that mattered. Despite drinking heavily I managed to function in my job well for quite a number of years and I didn’t want to think or admit that I had a problem with alcohol. I had a good job, a nice car, money, a house, a great girlfriend and a new wee baby! In my mind people with addiction problems don’t have all this or so I thought at the time! However I remember even then that I could feel it all slipping away, but I didn’t know what to do – I didn’t realise that I had a choice! Eventually I lost everything very quickly. With my driving licence gone my job was gone. Then my kids, my relationship, my car, my house and more importantly my self-respect. That’s when it really took off! With everything gone all that mattered was feeding my addiction. It was a full time pity party, if you had my life! Like I say I didn’t realise that I had a choice. A choice between heat and electric or feeding my addiction. There was never heat or electric and in the end everything was gone. I decided to go to rehab. If I’m honest I really had nowhere to live and wanted people to get off my back so I don’t think I went in for the right reasons. I left still wanting to drink. After finishing rehab last year I was referred to Addiction NI. I wanted to continue my one on one counselling. I had been to counselling/counsellors before, through no fault of anyone, I felt that it just didn’t work. Looking back on it now, I don’t think that I was ready or willing enough. At Addiction NI I felt very comfortable and I was able to be open and honest in a way that I had never been with counsellors before. Once a week I met up and discussed my recovery and how I was in general, all at my own pace, and I was encouraged to do so. Because I was a daily drinker from very young age I am only finding out now who I am now! It is still early days for me in recovery, but I cannot speak highly enough of Addiction NI. I have no doubt that they helped save me from addiction and I can’t thank them enough for giving me back a life.