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Supporting people with multiple needs: Mark’s story

12 February 2014

Mark-1-240x240Hi. I’m Mark, 44 years old, and I am in long-term recovery from a dark and depressive illness that led to me destroying lives; my own; my loved ones; people that cared about me; and individuals and communities I did not even know.

My illness is addiction but society does not always recognise it as such. Maybe I would have been labelled a junkie, a degenerate, a drain on society, a waste of time; and perhaps in some ways this perspective has some merit.

I want to tell my story to raise awareness of what it was like for me; and others like me – individuals whose ambition was never to be an addict or to cause harm but who became powerless over drugs and alcohol, a scourge which pervades the whole of society.

Today I live as a kind, considerate, loving and honest man with aims, dreams and ambitions like many.  Sadly for 27 years my thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviours were of someone completely different.

I am not proud of the things I have done as a chaotic drug user. I have been sectioned twice under the Mental Health Act; frequented prison a number of times; been homeless, desperate and once described myself as a zombie – I have the pictures to prove it.

More importantly, what about the numerous people that have been affected by my illness? My hope is that they will have found some peace and that the negative consequences of my actions have not remained with them.

Although I am not responsible for my illness, I am wholly accountable for my actions and responsible for my recovery, which I work towards on a daily basis.

This is just my small introduction into the life of a recovering addict. My message is, that no matter how desperate our situation may seem, whether addict or affected by addiction, there is real and tangible hope.

In March I celebrate two years in recovery. That’s two years of abstinence from drugs and alcohol; two years of finding out who I really am; two years of healthy and happy relationships with my family, friends and partner; two years of giving back; two years taking personal responsibility; and two years of cultivating love, peace and happiness.

If I was asked how I did it, I might just reply, “One day at a time.”


5 Comments leave one →
  1. 12 February 2014 10:25 am

    Mark, thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your story with us. Keep us updated with your progress and hitting that 2 year milestone next month.

  2. Rebecca Baggett permalink
    12 February 2014 5:40 pm

    Dearest Mark,
    Thank you! Thank you for having the courage to share your incredible story with countless people. I applaud the tremendous efforts you’ve exerted every day, every night, every MOMENT to stay clean & sober. I know I’m a stranger to you, but I admire your strength, determination & perseverance. Just know that you have a supporter in the U.S. cheering for you & prayerfully lifting you up! Keep on keeping on, friend.

  3. 13 February 2014 9:09 am

    Your honesty is beautiful Mark. One day at a time is the greatest truth, sometimes one hour at a time …. Cecile

  4. 20 February 2014 3:42 pm for my 2nd blog – ‘we are all just walking each other home’


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