I was lucky, before coming into recovery someone I knew broke their anonymity and told me that they were in AA. Knowing this gave me the strength to go to my first meeting and I’ve never looked back. Before this the stigma of being an ‘alcoholic’ and my preconceptions about the types of people that would be in meetings stopped me from starting my recovery journey and getting the help that I so desperately needed.

I’ve met an incredible array of people of all ages and from all walks of life who live each day offering support, friendship and advice. These people are talented, kind, funny, patient and caring. They listen when I need support and don’t pass judgement. They are there for me when I feel low and help me each day on my journey of recovery.

12 step recovery might not be for everyone, but it’s something that works for me. I need the support of people around me to overcome my addictions and negative thinking that previously made my life so small, isolated and miserable.

I really am grateful for the people in my support network who make my life so much brighter each day as part of my recovery. Their friendship and support has led to me being more open and honest both with myself and others, I’ve noticed that recently I’ve started sharing things which I’ve not even dared to share with my closest friends. Being able to be this open and honest with relative strangers has been a massive step forward for me, it’s been liberating to know that I can trust and share in this way because we’re all ultimately in this to get better together.

If you’re reading this and wondering about whether you’ll fit into a 12 step programme, if you have any negative preconceptions about what the people will be like, whether you think you’re too young / old or think that you have enough friends in your life already. I implore you to give it a chance, you’ll meet some truly wonderful people along the way.

I don’t know where I’d be today without the amazing support and friendship of the people around me today, I’m so grateful to be able to have them in my life and to be on this journey of recovery with them…