I was working as a barber, but then I started drinking regularly. This impacted on my work and I stopped going in. Inevitably, I then lost my job. This made me drink even more, I started building up debts as my priority was getting a drink, all I could think about was where my next drink was coming from. My debts got so bad that I ended up losing my home and sleeping on people’s sofas. But you can only do this for so long before you outstay your welcome.
The way I coped was to drink even more I hid all this from my parents until it got to the point where I had nowhere else to go, but I had to promise them that I would not drink any more. I then went on a ten week alcohol rehab course and then moved in with my parents. Finally I built my life up again. I even started my own barber business; this only lasted eight months as I started drinking again. I used it as a reward, if I had a good week I would have a few cans at the weekend, but it never stopped at a few cans. It got to the point where I was actually drinking more than the last time I got myself in a rut. I lost everything again and ended up sleeping in my shop for two months. It was very lonely, and my method of coping was to drink even more. Alcohol was my new best friend, I just had to survive from day to day; that was my mission each day; just to get a drink.
Then a former work college came to visit me from Scotland. He gave me a book about the mission; the book inspired me to turn my life around. The man also introduced me to a small Christian network; this meant I went from having nobody to having a supportive group of friends. I felt there were people around me who could accept me for who I was. At this time I went to stop with a friend who subsequently became my partner, and slowly I started to build my life up again. Seven months later, after another detox I am still sober. My advice for people in a similar situation is don’t isolate yourself and seek out activities that you enjoy to take your mind off your addictions, and remember you are not alone. One of the activities I took up was painting, four months later I was commissioned to paint a piece depicting my homelessness experience, this was something I had in mind to do for my sober reward. However I agreed to paint the picture early. This picture represents me whilst I was fighting my addictions and when I finally accepted help.
Craig’s story shows that people find support in various places, for him it was his faith. If you would like to share a story about homelessness please feel free to contact us via our Facebook Group here.