After I had finished and stopped drinking near a year back through rehab and the will to stop, I moved into a flat in a block of those housing-executive owned.
There’s a front office where a woman works 9 to 5 in her job. Part of her job, well, all of it, is to help people in this block start off new lives.
It ain’t a half-way house. It’s for the people who have managed to get off it and stay off it by giving you the help and support you need.
Her name is Frances. A woman who has worked here from the start. It opened 8 years ago. She has helped me open accounts, get an ID, get into rhythms of shopping, working, trying out new things like courses, going places and socializing, and millions of normal day to day things.
Because, as an alcoholic, the only thing I personally did was get to the office and when housed, get home; when not housed, find somewhere to sit. You all take everything like getting a bus into town as the norm. After rehab, even doing that sober scared the bullocks outta me. But Frances would and still does give you them wee pushes that help you do it.
You gotta understand that everything I do sober is new and most of it scares the balls outta me. When my head goes and I really wanna say just fuck it (which, trust me, is about 4 times a day), she is there to listen to you and always make time.
She never judges; just listens attentively and lets you talk away. I am going through hard times at doing this sober thing. Because in reality, when you’ve finished with the rehab and the help in there, you’re out into this crazy life alone. It’s hell at times; heaven at other times.
When I am in hell, this woman helps you through it. She is the person in the background who nobody really sees, but probably does the hardest job. We all know a friend or a family member who has an addiction problem. It’s scary and can happen to anyone. Trust me. It ruins lives and sometimes can take lives, too.
So, spare a thought for these people who help others and God forbid, still be there to help a friend or family member when needed. This woman doesn’t do social media and talk about her doings and isn’t even allowed to accept gifts.
So, I just wanna thank the unseen people who have helped me. You do it outta pure kindness and no reward. I thank you and especially Frances, for your help in this mad, fucking journey I am on. Without you, I’d be back on it and dead.