Throughout the past 200 years we’ve provided life changing support for people like David.

David stayed in our supported accommodation in Edinburgh. He shares his personal experience of growing around substance misuse and how he’s on his journey of creating a healthier and happier life for him and his family.

My journey with substance misuse started at the age of 14, when I fell in with the wrong group and surrounded myself with people who didn’t have my best interests at heart. I started partying a lot and got myself into trouble, before ending up in homeless accommodation when I was 17.

By this point I was far too deep into addiction, and I didn’t want to accept the help from those around me. If I am honest all I cared about was funding my addiction.

The cycle of trying to get clean and then relapsing continued throughout much of my adult life. Now 37 years old, I arrived at Right There’s supported accommodation in Edinburgh two years ago, where I was at the lowest point in my life.

“I thought this place would just be like the other places I’ve stayed in the past. But it became clear early on that it’s not the staff against the people who stay here – it’s a safe space and everyone makes you feel welcome. I also don’t look at them as staff anymore, they’re friends and that’s when it became home for me.”

The way that the support is tailored is fantastic. I know when I really need a bit of help, I can nip to the office and grab a cuppa and a chat. There’s so much support. Even down to the organised evenings like darts night or they did a chilli con carne and football night not long ago. These small gatherings provide support, whether you realise it or not.

I regularly meet with my support worker who I’ve built a really good relationship with. We talk about my achievements and then my future goals. By doing so my mindset has started to change and I feel more positive and stronger in what I can do.

One of the biggest things that I’ve realised by being here is when you look at your life and you think it’s a mess, don’t look at it as one big problem. Think of it as many small problems that you sort out one at a time. The support made me realise that; they changed my mindset and took a weight off. Once I started putting pen to paper daily, figuring out where I should be and when, my life has become so much better.

I have even started to take guitar lessons. It’s such a good feeling because when I have a lesson, it helps me switch off from everything else. I’m 100% focused on the lesson and I’ve never had that intensity of focus for anything ever in my life.

The biggest change is waking up in the morning and feeling good because of where I am in life. I’ve got positive things going on and positive people around me and that makes me feel good.

For the first time in a long time my addiction is under control, and I am getting the right support from specialised services to live with an addition. The team at Right There supported me in finding my own flat and I’m starting to rebuild my life and continue on this positive path.

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