'I nearly lost everything. Framework helped me feel strong again'
Terry’s all consuming drug addiction cost him his home, his family and very nearly his life. At his lowest point he actually longed to go to prison. The only constant in his life was heroin – the drug he says “numbed the pain” of sleeping rough night after night in and around Worksop.
In the more than three years since he was introduced to Framework, weighing just six stone and fresh out of hospital, he has turned his life around and is now looking towards a brighter future. He is now living in a specialist move-on flat – operated with a lower level of support than in Framework’s 24 hour emergency accommodation.
“It was a really terrible experience but, after a while, you do get used to living that way: you become numb
He explained: “I was in a really terrible place before I came to Framework. I had lost my home, my job and, because I had stolen money from my dad, my family. All in all I was homeless for about six years, living in caravans, sheds, back gardens, fields, on friends’ sofas...even in football dugouts.
“It was a really terrible experience but, after a while, you do get used to living that way: you become numb and are constantly chasing heroin to numb it all a bit more. I really was in a right mess when I hit my lowest point. I weighed just six stone when I went into hospital and could have died then. I knew then that I had to change things.”
As things turned out it was Terry’s admission to hospital that provided the catalyst to his remarkable change in circumstances. He was reunited with his parents and referred to Framework for help.
He was soon allocated a place at our Dennis Street accommodation for people with drug and alcohol problems and paired with two support workers. He later moved to specialist Framework move-on accommodation in Potter Street. The accommodation is specially designed to give people prolonged experience of living without immediate staff support and to prepare them to live independently in the community.
He added: “Five years ago I was so down that I really did not see any future for myself. I got to the point where I actually wanted to go to prison because it would at least be a roof over my head. Obviously now I couldn’t think of anything worse but I suppose that just shows how far I have come in these last few years.
“If I could go back and do things differently then I would because it was drugs that caused all my problems, but you don’t think like that when you’re young. I came from a loving home and had a good upbringing and never thought that anything like that would happen to me but it did. I started to hang around with the wrong people and began dabbling with drugs when I was 17...I suppose you could call it peer pressure but that stuff is all in the past.
“I am now feeling much better about the future and am taking much better care of myself. I am going swimming regularly and even have a girlfriend for the first time in a long time. It would be lovely in the future if we could settle down together and maybe have a child. My family relationships are strong and that again is down to Framework. I now spend Christmas with my family and things are like they should be. I owe all that to Framework. Without them I really think I would either be dead or in prison.”