My name is Conor, I suffer from addiction and mental health problems. Today I can choose how I phrase such statements, let me start again. I experience addiction and at times have mental health challenges.
I have been in and out of homeless services in Galway for the past 11 years. The stigma I attached to my addiction became unmanageable but I’m one of the lucky ones. I now work a program one day at a time.
Fear, Anger, Hatred, Disgust and Sick is how I felt about myself and my addiction in the past, it’s a horrible place to be, a merry-go-round fuelled by alcohol.
Services such as Galway Simon, Cope Galway, The Homeless Mental Health Team and organisations such as AA and Smart Recovery have allowed me to stand up to my addictions. Without Galway Simon and Abbey House I would not be alive today, that is a fact, probably why I care so much about them and their teams to this very day.
I’m getting better, one day at a time. I cannot stress how much of an amazing job these guys do. Now I’m looking to a bright future, I’ve hidden in darkness for long enough. My addiction counsellor would often say to me that Auschwitz lasted for five years and yet I continued to torture myself for at least seventeen years of my life.
Today thanks to the work of Galway Simon and Cope Galway I will soon have a home of my own. I am hopeful I will stick to my new principals and keep it an alcohol free zone. Thanks to the program I am working on I can remain sober one day at a time and with the help of Galway City Partnership I will be launching my own business MGMT.ie in 2023. Galway Uncovered.com was developed during Covid in Abbey House, a Galway Simon service and TourSmart.ie was developed in The Fairgreen Hostel, a Cope Galway service.
My advice to anyone suffering out there is to find hope, seek refuge from your demons, use the services out there to take back your life. In Cuan Mhuire they teach you that ‘You Are Good, You Were Always Good, God Made You Good’ Religion not your thing? Why not try this on for size?
‘You Are Good, You Were Always Good, Good Orderly Direction Made You Good.
neatly and methodically arranged.
“an orderly arrangement of objects”
I have always been a methodical person so this works for me. But if you can change one thing, be it starting journaling or even having a timetable to stick to it can help.. Personally my methodology is to do the next right thing, take the next right step. And don’t forget there is help out there. Speak with your doctor and try and get a referral to the new Galway City Alcohol Service, I have tried them first hand and would highly recommend them.
I now attend AA and have found a fellowship that I finally get, if AA isn’t your thing why not try out an online Smart Recovery meeting?
Anyways I’m only in early sobriety myself and not here to preach. I’m writing this to say there is hope, even if you can’t see it today and that change is possible. We are all human beings at the end of the day, nobody is greater or lesser than you. Eckhart Tolle would proclaim that some of us just have bigger ego than others but we all make mistakes and it’s never too late to turn your life around.
Happy New Year,
P.S A big shoutout to my Mum and my Family who were always there to support me no matter what. Thank you to Galway Simon, Abbey House, Cope Galway, Trish Mullins, Galway City Alcohol Service, the Fairgreen Hostel and everyone on the streets of Galway who gave me a spare two euros for a can of Linden Village.