Darren's story It started some time ago, about six years, when I realised I was drinking too much and I needed help. That is when I decided to come to the service. I started treatment and attended groups. After a while this was having no effect on my recovery and I stopped and carried on drinking. A little over a year later I tried again but was not ready. I carried on drinking. I even tried AA, but I failed at that. Just over three years ago my drinking was so bad that I spent time in hospital and had been arrested three times through being drunk and abusive. Then I decided I would try again. I was losing my family and my home, also my life. My key worker was a great guy and we got on from our first session. He carried on with our 1-2-1 meetings as this was helping me. We carried on for about two months and I started feeling good about myself and my home life improved, then he dropped a bombshell and asked me if I wanted to be Service User Representative. I thought about it and eventually said yes. "Through extra training, I now help with group meetings and the activities the service puts on to help service users in recovery." I was then referred to the Recovery Hub where I met some more great people. Later I was asked if I would like to become the Capital Card Ambassador, I accepted this as I was going to get more help and training. During this time, I started the Giving Something Back course and after eight weeks training, I passed. Some months later we had peer mentor training. I passed that and felt really good about myself. Then, the inevitable happened. I had a relapse. Thankfully it was only a few days and I pulled myself together. I felt I had let everyone down. I returned to the service and confessed my sins and got the support I needed and was offered 1-2-1 counselling. This helped me a great deal and eventually I became a Peer Mentor. "I have found new friends and can now smile again and be my old self but without the alcohol." Through extra training, I now help with group meetings and the activities the service puts on to help service users in recovery. I have just completed an online course for Counselling Skills Level 2. This has improved my confidence and knowledge in helping others, something I would never have thought about before. Now I am feeling proud and in a better place. Through the last sixteen months I have had great support from the staff at WDP, fellow volunteers and service users. I have found new friends and can now smile again and be my old self but without the alcohol. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped me. Now I know there is a future and look forward to moving on, one thing I do know there is 'no return'. Names and images of service users have been changed to maintain confidentiality. Find out how we can help you or someone you know with their drug or alcohol use.