Anthony, aged, 43, recognizes now that his problems with alcohol and drugs started in his teens –
but it wasn’t until he had tried and failed numerous times to stop drinking that he started looking for help in his mid-30s. Following being sacked from his job, he went to his GP for help, who referred him to an alcohol service. He also began to attend several meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous a week –
"I did everything I could to keep busy – I was scared I was going to die."
It was here that Anthony first heard about Double Impact and its mentoring course. Around this time he started volunteering for the local service user magazine, SUMO, and wrote his first article for them, about Double Impact’s alcohol-free bar, Sobar. When a place became available on the mentoring course, Anthony joined and found the experience changed him –
"It was excellent – I met new people and learnt many things which have benefitted me in my everyday life – I learnt a whole new way of looking at things."
Since completing the course, and with ongoing support from Double Impact, Anthony has progressed to become the co-editor of SUMO magazine and has learnt many new skills…including proof-reading and IT skills. He has also trained to become a co-facilitator of Double Impact’s Schools project, giving alcohol awareness training to young people in partnership with the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Anthony has now found paid employment, which still allows him to keep up with his other projects and to spend time with his daughter. The impact on her of his recovery, says Anthony, has been ‘Massive – now I pick her up every day from school, see her in the holidays and even took her on holiday – which was my first holiday for 20 years!” Anthony feels that the last 20 years have been like
"A bad dream – but the last 2 have been brilliant – I’ve done more, learnt more, met more people – now I live my life."