Aaron is a Team Leader at THOMAS   

Recovery? Or Discovery? I heard recently an interpretation of the former using an analogy of an old vintage broken leather chair and the need for it to be repaired. It was then suggested that what if youíve never had the chance or opportunity to sit in this leather chair, then the latter becomes more apparent when talking about breaking free from addiction. I write this because my journey has been all about discovering who I was, who I am and who do I want to become. So discovery seems more to the point in my opinion (and thatís all this is).

My name is Aaron Morris and Iím a Team Leader for the THOMAS Project.

I could bore you with countless tales of misadventure whilst wandering around my life in a nonchalant manner, but Iím sure you heard it all before. Today; itís about my journey from making the choice to change, accept and understanding how I developed a sense of self which was guided by my deepest values.

From the first moment I walked into a Meeting I knew that it was possible to stop using drugs and it was here that I was to learn the basics of what was needed to do so. I spent the next few years attending meetings, various inpatient detoxes and rehabilitation centres; but my stubborn unwillingness to accept and understand my situation and self, contributed to twenty three of what I then believed to be Ďfailuresí (lapse / relapses).

I was beginning to believe that there was no way out and these moments of profound hopelessness and despair resulted in some very negative thinking. Looking back all we can do, no matter the situation, is make the best choice (rational or irrational) we see at the time and go with it. We wonít always get it right and we will make mistakes. I think what Iím trying to say is never give up because the next attempt could be the one. As Thomas Edison once said: "If I find 10,000 ways something wonít work, I havenít failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."

Iíve heard many comments that drug addicts are weak, but maintaining my addiction was hard! I was strong willed and I had incredible problem solving skills: drop me in the middle of a lonely road out in the sticks and Iíd have found a means to get drugs quicker than you can find your car keys. I just needed to channel my abilities into something that wouldnít kill me or drive me crazy.

I found myself back in a rehab for a fourth time, but this time the old clichť of Ďitís going to be differentí never rung so true. I found it hard and every day I wanted to leave but something kept me there (Iím led to believe this was my key worker begging the manager to not kick me out), but nethertheless I stayed and the sense of achievement I got from completing something was overwhelming.

 I spent the first few weeks slightly apprehensive most probably due to my past form of relapsing; but I quickly began to realise that I was at a point in my life that I had full control of and I was able to steer my life in pretty much any direction I chose. It was an amazing experience being drug free and after wasting several years taking drugs, I was ready to embark on what felt like an experience of a lifetime.

I realised whilst in rehab that it wasnít the action (the change) that I feared; but it was the ambivalence surrounding the change. To question these feelings is a normal human trait but I did tend to analyse and internalise things way too much. I began to realise that nothing was holding me back and soon enough, small steps would become the equivalent of giant leaps towards the creative, the passionate, the driven and the somewhat spiritual. Remember you are only confined by the walls you build yourself.

The past 10 years have been amazing and after completing rehab I went on to University to study for a Degree in Youth and Community Development Work. The confidence, self-worth and self-belief that I got from gaining a B.A. Honours Degree has spurred me on to work in some exceptional organisations. It was always my dream though to work in a substance misuse setting and that opportunity came with THOMAS. I am currently the Team Leader for the Foundations of Recovery Programme in Partnership with CGL Inspire, deliver the THOMAS Dynamic Intelligence programme and help manage the THOMAS Recovery House. Having such a varied job keeps me focused and helps me to discover more about myself and other people.

Discovery rather than recovery is bold statement to make (after all who am I really) but itís one that resonates positivity through and through. Donít get me wrong life has thrown some difficult times my way but what Iíve found is that if you give yourself long enough to enjoy the benefits of being alcohol or drug free then itís impossible to give it up. Always ask yourself tough questions, accept rational responsibility, follow your own advice and listen to your intuition (your gut instinct is never wrong). And finally Ö ďWhat comes easy wonít last, what lasts wonít come easyĒ. Peace Out

 

 

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