I was on methadone. I’d stopped taking all these other party drugs and come off the anti depressants. Then my recovery really began. What it all boiled down to was being accepted into university, where I’d applied the previous year. During this time I was also going through a court case for possession of two ounces of cannabis. When I started university I was still going to court and I finally got sentenced to six months’ community service. I served this by working at a city youth club. I was so depressed the whole time. I was 37 years old, and instead of having my usual compulsion, where I wanted to be naughty and take heroin again, I just felt completely floored, exhausted, and full of regret. How was I going to take my life forward from here?

That’s the horrible thing, you go through recovery and think, ‘yeah, I feel good again but where am I? Where am I going? I’m in a hole! And now I’ve got to do 10 times as much work to catch up with where I should have been!’

Six weeks into Uni I was ready to give up, but friends and tutors helped me get through this and after that the whole thing just took off. I got myself a couple of wee part time jobs, bar work, and things were starting to look good. So from that point on, things seemed to gain some positive momentum. Because I kept myself so occupied with work and university, all the other problems just disappeared. I felt so lucky and appreciative that I’d got this chance to take my life forward again.

During this time I managed to slowly phase out the methadone and when I felt I could cope without it, I hung onto some for a while and then poured it down the drain one day. I didn’t need it and I certainly didn’t want it any more. I believe it’s effective as a cure because I can’t think of anyone who enjoys taking methadone, certainly not on a daily basis. I made a big effort to manage my depression, and started taking homeopathic medicines. Because I was studying at university, I used a learning approach to my health as well. So I looked into a broader range of remedies for my post-withdrawal depression and found a homeopathic remedy to be a really good and highly effective cure. I used this for a few months and that cracked it; it saw me through the dark winter months and then by spring my depression was cured. In the past that type of low mood would have drawn me back into heroin use but this time I’d used non-addictive, legal, remedies to get through.

Nowadays if I’m in any sort of pain I will take something like codeine but that’s OK. It’s not a problem, and it doesn’t lead me back into hard drug use. I don’t have those social drug networks any more, so the temptation is at a safe distance away and I’m very glad of that.

After many wasted years I’m back to normal, back to life, back to work!