At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with bipolar and was subsequently admitted to hospital for treatment. While in hospital, I was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia meaning I would be given the wrong treatments, some of them extreme, and medications. After 9 months in hospital it was decided that my medications should be changed from 24 tablets each night to 4 lithium tablets. I was kept in hospital for a further 6 months so that the lithium’s effects could be monitored. After the 6 months I was discharged, at the age of 19. For a couple of years everything went well until, when I was 21, I tried to commit suicide. This meant I had to go back into hospital. This came around because I the extremely heavy workload I put myself under while saving for a house of me and my girlfriend.

When I was discharged again things started to look up as I got married to my girlfriend and we had two children. Things did go bad again though as my Mother died when I was 29. Because of this I could no longer work and I quickly regressed to being off my tablets. Everything went downhill from there as I had to go back into hospital and upon my release I found out my wife was divorcing me and taking my kids. This was around the time that I started drinking. The drink caused me a lot of problems as I could not keep it under control and subsequently was out of control myself. This meant that on more than one occasion I was evicted from where I lived. I have also not had a job in 27 years due my past health. With every job rejection, I would also drink more.

Everything has started to get a lot better since I joined Mustard Tree. It has given me more of a purpose and has introduced me to a lot of great people. My drinking is now under control as on the three days I am at Mustard Tree I don’t drink at all. On the other days, I do drink but I do not drink even close to as much as I used to. I can honestly say that Mustard Tree is a lifesaver though! I now live a very content life, it is not perfect but I am certainly content with what I have.

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