Phil Lawrence Story

My addiction to alcohol started at school when I was just 11 years old, leaving me powerless and alone.

I didn’t know how to get involved with other children. I wanted to feel part of a group, to feel ease and comfort. I got that from alcohol. All of my friends were older so they could easily get drink and I stole drink from my parents drink cabinet.

I felt euphoric when I drank and it gave me the confidence I needed. However, I was just 14 when I first had my stomach pumped. I knew I had a problem.

I was always driven – I came from a family who ran judo clubs so I was driven and competitive. When I have an opportunity, I take it.

So when I was 18 I decided to get away from the drinking and worked for Camp America. But the problem became worse as we got drunk together every night.

I ended up in New York on my own and this was where I did my first AA meeting.  I eventually came back to the UK but the drinking continued and I also did cocaine.

I went for job interviews with alcohol and cocaine in my system. I got the jobs but then I wouldn’t turn up for work and lost jobs. I worked in the leisure industry and had good prospects. But I would go to nightclubs all weekend and then drive straight to work on Monday morning.

At 22, my parents paid for me to go into a 12 week rehabilitation programme in Wrexham. I stayed substance free for 2 and half years. I then got into a relationship and we had a baby who sadly died. I found that incredibly hard and alcohol became my coping mechanism again.

I’ve discovered loss and bereavement is a huge trigger for me. I now have to work through a process with my sponsor if I lose anyone rather than turn to drink.

I did the 12 step recovery program many times but I kept relapsing because I stopped taking action towards my recovery.

My addiction has affected the lives of my family, my four children and friends. However, over the last 14 months I have been a resident at Lindale Recover Service and I am substance free. Patrick saw something in me as I had previously worked for The Salvation Army and Sanctuary Housing, I started off as a volunteer on the maintenance team, then went on to therapeutic earnings on the support team and have just recently been given a full time paid contract to run the new homeless pathways project for Lindale where I will be supporting people who are not quite ready to start an abstinence based recovery.

In the AA big book it states ‘rarely have you seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.’ I take this to mean that if I work on a programme of recovery with another human being and look at all of my defects of character, and go through the steps properly and thoroughly and see where I go wrong and see my part in things – then I can have a good life. It’s about recognising where you’re going wrong in life.

I’ve put action into my recovery. I’ve listened to advice and put everything into this to get to where I am today.

How we have helped

  • One to One support session
  • Support with accessing benefits
  • Support with obtaining employment
  • Support with health assessments
  • Management of prescribed medication.
Phil Lawrence

"I’ve put action into my recovery and listened to advice to get to where I am today"

Phil Lawrence

Our Success Stories

Lindale Recovery have helped lots of people getting back on track.

Click on the links below to find out about some of our success stories and how the support we offer, combined with residential housing and paid work.

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