I was born and raised in Port Glasgow and am 35 years old. I am the eldest of three. My mother went above and beyond to provide for us; she worked hard and my sisters and I wanted for nothing.
I loved growing up in Port Glasgow. I looked to my grandfathers as my father figure and I idolised them. At the age of thirteen, I found one of them dead – it had a deep impact on me; I became very angry at everything and everyone, especially the ones I loved. This is when my life began to spiral out of control. I started getting kicked out of school, constantly getting arrested, bringing the police and trouble to my mother’s door.
I started to experiment with drugs: hash, eccies, jellies and by the age of seventeen I tried heroin – it had me bound in chains for many years. I expected I would be another drug addict to die on the streets of Port Glasgow. I started selling drugs to fund my habit. Going in and out of prison went on for years and this was the only time I managed to stay clean. But as soon as I got out I went straight back into it.
Whilst I was staying in Robert Street, Port Glasgow, the Teen Challenge outreach bus use to park there – they’d give out buns and tea and coffee. One day I decided to go on, to get something to eat – a guy called Laurence Deary came to talk to me. He and Roy Lees said something very simple but very profound: they said, “Your life doesn’t have to be this way.” Something struck me when they said this and I actually believed it. For the first time in years I believed that I could change! From then on I tried to get help and I believe that was the night that the seed was planted in my heart and God began to work.
I went to a Christian rehab centre in South Wales called Victory Outreach but I made more poor choices which led to more years of addiction and prison.
In 2012 I started at The Haven but still had a lot of anger. My time at The Haven was special as I really got to know the God who loved me, at a deeper level. God was doing a work in my life but I struggled to surrender all things. I left The Haven early as I met a girl but that relationship only lasted a couple of months.
I decided that I needed a fresh start so moved to Dublin where I met my current partner with whom I have two children. But again things went wrong and I returned to Scotland in December 2019 thinking I had lost everything that I held dear. I relapsed on to heroin but managed to get back into The Haven in July 2020. I am now restoring things with my family and have recently entered the ‘move-on’ stage of the programme.
I am looking forward to the future and want to be a proper father, partner, son, stepfather and a decent member of my community. God hasn’t finished with me yet. Praise God. Romans 8 v 28