Extracts from 'Climbing Mountains'

From 'A long weekend & discovery in recovery' by Mick F.

"At the age of 15 in 1965 I took my first mood and mind altering substance which was alcohol. During that time I went to many places in my addiction. I used many different types of drugs. I caused many people great harm, I did things that went against any moral standards I had............."

"In 1971 I was married for the first time to a lovely girl who never took any substances at all, I settled down for a short time we bought our own house and life was pretty good. We did things that normal people do work, holidays and being responsible, but I was always searching for some thing to change how I felt and that something was drugs. It came to the point when my wife gave me an ultimatum Ďitís either me or drugsí. With hindsight, I wish I had chosen her."

"I married for the second time in the mid seventies and we had two beautiful girls..... During the seventies it was a rollercoaster of crime, drugs, violence and constant arrest for crimes I was suspected of. I remember saying to the police Ďwhat the f*** you chasing me for Iím the one putting the needles in my own arm Iím not hurting any one elseí. The reality was as soon as I took anything the collateral damage was far reaching, my family suffered, friends suffered, and society at large suffered. I was still a menace to society."

"1978- 1979 I continued to break into chemists for my heroin, committing at least one burglary per month. By the end of 1979 I was facing a serious charge of grievous bodily harm and was looking at a long sentence. I was placed on remand I remember arriving at a local prison with a raging habit......

However on the outside I had the proceeds of a chemist burglary and for the next 3 months my wife smuggled drugs in to me daily. She eventually got caught and was given 15 months in prison (she had never been in trouble of any kind until then).  Through my physical craving and my obsession for drugs my wife had lost her freedom, my children were without their parents and suffered severe emotional stress and upset in their young lives. Eventually I received 21 months in jail. I remember going to see my wife on an inter prison visit, she was a broken woman, so devastated that she had been taken from her children."

"During the 80s heroin was becoming more available on the streets of my hometown. Once my wife came out of prison a few months after me, I decided to have just one fix. I didnít realise that it would not stop at just one, that it began a cycle of more, more and more until I was locked up again......

Drugs controlled my life, my thinking, my very existence. Yes I loved my wife and children but it pains me to say that I loved my drugs more."

"I returned home upon discharge to my family and in my heart I never wanted to hurt my loved ones again, but in my head was the obsession with drugs........ I was following the drugs to whichever town they were easily accessible. I left my home town and didnít return for 22 years - leaving behind my two young children, my wife and any stability I had. Shortly after that my wife divorced me and I believe it was the best thing she ever did for herself and our children. 

From that time I continued to commit crimes, the chemist were too well protected to burgle and I funded my habit mainly by fraud and deception. This resulted in a five year sentence."

Can someone break free from a life of such self-destruction? Read all of Mick F's remarkable story in 'Climbing Mountains' and find out.

From 'Climbing Mountains', the story of Kevin, which inspired the title of our book

"I was living alone, trying to make my way with what work I could get, after losing our baby, then my job and our home and then my beautiful relationship........

One day someone from work came round to my bedsit, and asked if I would like to try something. I would have done anything to take the pain away. In a very short period I became a full blown drug addict. At the time I was unhappy and it helped me forget what had happened in my life. I was very underweight and had no family to help me as I had hurt them so much by lying and other things that I am not proud of. The road I was on involved areas of life that are disturbing and shocking. I saw people get shot, beaten, raped, mugged and die. I was also a victim of some of these acts, which lead me more down my addiction path."

"My only goal was to keep looking for ways to maintain my addiction to keep the pain away, even though I knew I was creating more pain for myself and adding to the terrible experiences I received in my life. I constantly felt not-worthy and every time I went to sleep I didnít want to wake up.

The voices were always shouting at me to do things that I knew I did not want to do, but they would not stop. Even when I was under the influence they never seemed to be happy. I was good for nothing and didnít want to be a part of the world any more."

"I became homeless again and found myself in the Salvation Army. Ending up there didn't feel like the right road for me, but I had no option........

One day, a key worker asked me if I'd like to go on a walk, I said Ďyesí naturally, they told me it would be in the Lake District and we would be climbing the highest mountain in England Ė Scafell Pike. Wow, this was great, not only will I be having a mini holiday, I will be climbing the highest mountain in the country! 

After this experience, feeling like I was sitting on top of the world in the most peaceful and beautiful scenery Iíve ever seen, I felt that there was hope and that I could achieve anything I wanted."

Read the rest of Kevin's story in the book 'Climbing Mountains' along with 14 other inspiring stories about substance misuse recovery in Nottingham.

Thank you.

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