Sept 2002

T.H.O.M.A.S can help you change your life
Joel Busby

I went into the THOMAS project in May 2001 and did the course there. I’ve been clean for over a year now and came to Plater College, Oxford in September to do the social admin course, which consisted of psychology, sociology and history of the welfare state. We are now in the last term with only a week left and then we mean to move on and work for a year. THOMAS has helped us financially with this move.

Psychology was seriously interesting for me as an addict because I could relate to nearly everything we did. Sociology is kind of interesting, slightly boring but equally relevant.

Being here in Oxford has reminded me that there is a whole different world out there, other than where I used to live, there are loads of different people and loads of opportunities. Oxford itself is a beautiful city full of beautiful women and beautiful pubs and I don’t really want to move on from here now. I wasn’t that keen on it when I first got here, but it seems to have grown on me, once you get to know the place you seem to get quite attached to it.

I learnt quite a bit about myself in rehab after waking up as I like to call it, but I have learnt even more and I think I’ll carry on to do so. After this, staying clean isn’t really an issue for me, I’ll never forget that it’s quite easy to slip back into it, but a year has gone and I have stayed clean. It’s gone quickly because I haven’t thought about it or let it hold me back in any way

I’m very grateful to THOMAS for giving me this opportunity, because I wouldn’t have come here otherwise, if I hadn’t been a smack-head for five years I wouldn’t have come here and I wouldn’t be in Oxford now.

Now I am hoping to work in an everyday job for a year, get some money behind me, get some structure back, get some routine as I need routine. Even though I knew how to live in my own place before THOMAS, it helped me regain the life of living together with different people and cooking and cleaning.

Plater College is an interesting place with lots of different people, religions and views but everyone is tolerant towards each other. As well as learning a lot academically I’ve also learnt a lot socially. I have become tolerant towards people who I wouldn’t normally be very tolerant towards. The T.H.O.M.A.S. people here have stuck together as well as making other friends that have not had the exact same experiences but have had similar problems with drink. It’s the young males that have stuck together. I’m actually writing an essay about group processes at the moment. It’s an interesting topic about group conflict and co-operation, conformity and non-conformity etc. I’d recommend this college to anyone who wants to come and learn any of the different pathways. The pathways are theology, pastoral studies, social admin, law, politics and economics. It’s quite a wide range really. I’ve enjoyed it here and it’s chapter one of my clean life.

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