Peter received support from Adferiad Recovery’s Structured Recovery Programme to help him tackle his substance misuse and mental ill health. He had been an alcoholic for over 20 years which took a toll on his mental health causing depression and anxiety.
In his younger years he worked abroad as a flair barman and DJ. The lifestyle resulted in Peter regularly going out drinking and consuming various substances, all in the name of having a ‘good time’.
“[I was] consuming as many good times, alcohol and party drugs as I could stomach, I had years’ worth of both. I think this helped me to fall in love with ‘the hit’”.
As Peter grew older, he turned his back on the drugs scene and settled into a relationship and a family in the UK with a well-paid job. However, he was failing to address the issues with his deteriorating mental health and continued to self-medicate with alcohol which quickly resulted in his relationship breaking down.
“My depression and drinking went into overdrive as, despite the separation being what I myself wanted, the mental fallout was unbearable.”
Peter was eventually admitted to a detox unit, followed by a period in rehab, and after a couple of years of drinking on and off he moved in with his mother who had recently lost her husband. In 2019, his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and sadly passed away under tragic circumstances whereby Peter, and his son, were present.
“The mental anguish of this sent me over an edge I didn’t think I would ever come back from, drinking like I never had before, finding myself in hospital 5- or 6-times [in 2020].”
It was through one of these hospitalisations that Peter was referred to Adferiad (previously CAIS’) Structured Recovery Programme for support.
“I had had a previous brief encounter with CAIS but was nowhere near ready for the help at the time, and like most had to fight past the anxiety and push myself to open up and socialise. Unfortunately, even though I was finding the programme massively supportive, I was still dealing (or not dealing) with the loss of my mum and the way she went”.
Peter struggled to get bereavement counselling for his loss and living alone meant that he struggled to remain positive, and before long he ended up back in hospital as a result of his drinking. Following a number of tests and scans, the hospital found scarring on Peter’s liver. This became his catalyst for change.
“The idea of death had ceased to be just an idea, and could now be a possible reality, especially if I continued to drink. I had gotten to that point of two options “do I want to live or die?” I had had suicidal thoughts before, and constantly questioned and feared mortality but this was different. It was a realisation that if I truly want to live, and not just exist, then I should truly commit to it, start believing in myself and put in the work.”
Peter began to engage as much as possible with the Structured Recovery Programme. He pushed through his doubts about the support being offered to him, threw himself in to the course work and remained focused on ‘the big picture’. On completion of the course, he was uncertain about what direction he should take next. Following discussions with his Group Leader, he decided that helping others is the path he wanted to take. He was supported by Adferiad Recovery’s Homelessness Prevention Project to become a volunteer, helping to prepare food for, pack and deliver food parcels for people in temporary accommodation.
“I had always wanted to help others, especially with misuse issues, but never really had the confidence or conviction and worried whether I had the skills. After talking to my fantastic Group Leader and a bit of soul searching, I signed up for a Peer Mentor course which gave me a great insight into the support we can give, the benefit of lived experience, and a possible future, one beneficial to others and myself.”
Peter continues to volunteer with Adferiad as it is an essential part of his recovery and by now has completed his Peer Mentor course. He is also being provided with opportunities to shadow some of our current Peer Mentors to help him reach his goal of becoming a Peer Mentor himself in the future.
“This has helped me immensely, boosting confidence, interacting, being productive and helping others. I hope to be in a support role in the future but am enjoying the journey most of all.”
Donations to Adferiad Recovery are vital in helping to ensure we can continue to support people like Peter on their recovery journey. All the money fundraised through A Grand Week in Wales will be distributed across their partner community organisations, including Adferiad Recovery, to support these good causes.
If you would like to make a donation to A Grand Week in Wales, head over to: https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/campaign/grand-week-in-wales-2022