My life before Forward Leeds was chaotic. There was no structure to my life. I was like a hamster running on a wheel to stay still. I was drinking heavily, the police were being called, I was being kicked out of houses so I had nowhere to live, I was drink driving and getting locked up.

It was like a form of mental torture – being a slave to the bottle.

My GP referred me into Forward Leeds for help. I began one-to-one sessions at Forward Leeds and squeezed them in between my job. Impatience led me to book a spell in a private rehab before I was really ready for it. There was no after-care from the rehab and I quickly relapsed and came back to Forward Leeds.

When I returned to Forward Leeds I committed to the sessions and the group work they offered.

I had another spell at rehab, this time funded through Forward Leeds. When I came out after-care was waiting for me at 5 WAYS.

5 WAYS has been a major part of my recovery. I realise now I needed that initial structure and routine to my days. I attended the group sessions and continued to have one-to-one meetings with a worker. The ongoing support of having someone to talk to was so important in the first few weeks after leaving rehab.

Just being able to come to 5 WAYS and have a cup of tea and not be isolated is wonderful.

My life now is amazing. I have got everything I ever needed and more from 5 WAYS. Through 5 WAYS I have been to an Open Day at Leeds University, gone on barge trips and even appeared on stage in a production of Macbeth.

Every day I wake up now feeling content with my life. I waking up on a morning without those feelings of anxiety, remorse and guilt. I can just get up and enjoy myself and enjoy being me.