“I tried cocaine on a college trip when I was 18. I thought I would give it a try, sure look! What bad could happen? This single decision started a cycle that lasted up until I was 25. I was surprised to realise that it took away all my inadequacies, my low self-esteem and lack of worldliness, character issues that I didn’t even realise I lacked before. It showed me a better version of myself for short periods of time. It soon became a weekly thing. Friday 6pm, going out, having a beer or two and it would follow a line or two. Nobody knew what was going on. I stayed clean during the week and only did it on Friday nights. I was fully functional and I never went into debt. About two years ago, I was starting to get into fitness. It was a weird period because I was still drinking excessively and would take cocaine. I would find myself every Saturday afternoon lying in bed with a hangover searching google for: ‘Health benefits of quitting alcohol and drugs.’ – but despite this, I would continue using them every Friday. Things really came to a head in 2018 when I had some problems in work which led to increased drink and drug use. I felt so alone and was constantly in my own head telling myself how much of a fuck up I was! I hated everything about myself and the person I’d become. I spent evenings at home on my own sniffing coke. When the new year came in 2019, I decided to start on a sobriety journey and began training for my second marathon. After having some low days in early lockdown, I decided to reach out for help. I started attending mental help support groups with Grow Mental Health and I am now working on their recovery program. A few weeks ago, I shared my story with my group and the support and understanding I received has given me the courage to share it publicly. It did take a lot for me to put myself forward and say that I am not okay, that I needed help; but the benefits of this decision have changed my life.”
It has never been more important to reconnect. @GrowMentalHealth and @BusÉireannExpressway are encouraging readers to take the 12 Calls of Christmas Challenge.
It’s been a challenging year, but even a short phone call with somebody you’ve lost touch with could make all the difference. Text ‘RECONNECT’ to 50300 to donate €4 to Grow Mental Health and make a call to make a difference this Christmas. Texts cost €4. Service Provider: @LikeCharity. Helpline: 076 680 5278. #togetherwearegettingsomewhere