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If there was a line between right and wrong, I snorted it years ago....

Even in normal circumstances addiction can be scary and difficult to manage, but throw a pandemic into the mix and things must be overwhelming! I’m grateful today that I not only found recovery before Covid hit, but that I haven’t felt the need to use or drink as a result of it.

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"don't give up", "you are not alone", "you matter" written on a fence

TW: drug use, addiction

If there was a line between right and wrong, I snorted it years ago.... 

At the age of 25 I was shocked to be classed as a mature student! I certainly didn’t feel mature, to be quite frank, I’d only just got my life together.  Whilst all my mates were leaving home to experience University life; at the age of 18 I had no fixed address, was using in stairwells with a bunch of strangers and stealing money to get high – so the option of a degree and a promising future was not on the cards.  I was lost in a habitual cycle of addiction driven by a thousand forms of fear where I saw no way out. 

My mother was an alcoholic in recovery, with 12 years sober under her belt; my father, an over bearing high ranking Officer in the Forces and, in my mind, an individual with an unhealthy relationship with alcohol who refused to seek help; whilst my siblings were merrily on their way to forging careers, having experienced little effect from our somewhat chaotic upbringing. 

I felt isolated and alone and for many of my younger years could not shake the pity pot “why me” syndrome.  I hated the constant moves which came with my father’s job, the never-ending need to make new friends each time and I resented the “adventure” being sold to me whenever we upped sticks.  An awkward teen, each move I found myself drawn to the school misfits, loners or eccentrics who not cared nothing for my background and cared even less for institutional authority.    

Experimentation of drink and drugs, which at first gave me ease and comfort, slowly turned to regular use and abuse. I was stuck in a seemingly perpetual cycle of stop start – a day or two of motivation would be followed by a week of extreme sloth – I quickly became dependant on cocaine to function in any ‘normal’ capacity. And despite the continuous negative consequences of my behaviour and knowing that the ‘party’ was well and truly over, I remained in denial whilst my habit, at its peak, reached £100 a day.  I blamed everyone else for my using, stealing from friends and family to pay my dealer and feeling justified by my actions, my moral compass was duly pointing south! 

I found recovery at the age of 20 when I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and the consequences of my actions, along with my debt, were mounting up.  Acknowledging I had a problem was the hardest bit, but once I did, I entered a detox facility where I was willing to make some significant changes to my life.  I didn’t dream of becoming an addict but it’s made me who I am today - wiser and stronger AND a ‘mature’ student. 

Even in normal circumstances addiction can be scary and difficult to manage, but throw a pandemic into the mix and things must be overwhelming! I’m grateful today that I not only found recovery before Covid hit, but that I haven’t felt the need to use or drink as a result of it. 

This blog has been contributed anonymously. If you would like to contribute a blog to this series, please email campaigns@warwicksu.com 

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