A Christmas Recovery Tale

This recovery journey started on 3rd of December 2015 when I received a private message via Facebook…

“Hi Tracey, its Adam Holmes, hope u don’t mind me massaging I just had my interview at Arc house yesterday been accepted just waiting to do my methadone detox on Burbidge I’ve been four weeks on Saturday off illicit drugs so I’m buzzing with that hope ur good take care, adam x”

I was well chuffed to hear from him I knew Adam way back in the day, 20 years when I was his first Keyworker at a day rehabilitation centre Kickstart. Since then, I have followed his journey, including the highs and lows, including being street homeless and spells in prison. This time though there was something different, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, it was still and still is one of my favourite and most inspiring recovery stories.

I’d spoken to him on the phone, and he was both excited and anxious about recovery worrying about whether or not he’d fail again, but I tried to remind him of all the times he’s succeeded too. At the time, Adam had been posting and updating his progress on Facebook before going into rehab. I still recall reading his daily post and was so inspired that I’d decided to collect them all and give it to him once he’d completed rehab to remind him of how far he’s come. Today, five years later, the original post popped up on my timeline. I’d mentioned it to Adam, who had since changed his Facebook profile, so I have pulled it together again, not just for him, but also for anyone else who it might help.

1st December

  • I’m in town later to pick my train tickets up later on to go Scarborough tomorrow at Arc House anyone wanna meet for a coffee or something to eat my appetite is back with a vengeance lol. it I’ll be wanting to lose my belly wen get too much weight on hahaha
  • Just been reading my just for today n the last bit so right, just for today I will keep my priorities in order, number one on the list is my recovery

2nd December

  • Just got on my train guys I missed one that was going straight through to Scarborough but I’m on my way now gonna av a good day nothing can put me on a downer today got my literature so a good read
  • I’m buzzing, just been to arc house they’re gonna get in touch with my social worker and offer me a place so just waiting to get into hospital now and to rehome mollie my dog bless her

4th December

  • Just been in cathedral said prayer n sat down for 10 min gives me some peace to my mind n soul

5th December

  • Morning everyone how’s everybody today our mollie is going crazy playing lol shopping day today I hate today payday. Oh, and I can’t forget it’s four weeks today clean off illicit drug buzzzzzzinnnnnn naturally

6th December

  • Just not long been out of bath had a rite soak n let all the stresses just float away smile I’m on ball today first time in years.
  • First day in along long time I’ve forgotten to take my meds wow
  • Just got back home from town I’ve never seen it as quiet nipped into cathedral and said a prayer to keep me safe and clean just for today it’s so peaceful in there give u time to think as well away from the madness lol
  • Bed for me guys see ya all Tuesday peace n love to you all and needed tonight’s meeting got some good old honesty it woz raw but needed it thanks for support

7th December

  • Morning everybody how’s people today I soo can’t wait till tomorrow’s meeting I can’t miss any till I go treatment not long now whoop whoooooop lol

11th December

  • Is chilling avin a coffee listening to some pink floyd before meeting it’s all good stuff

12th December

  • Just got to Addaction loads early n soaked through lol
  • Goodnight all and thanks for a great meeting see u all tomorrow smile emoticon peace n love

13th December

Thanks everyone for an awesome meeting always enjoy the fellowship some great friends love n peace, Adam

14th December

  • Just started my step one didn’t know I cud write that quickly without thinking about it powerful stuff step 1 hope to c u all tomorrow nite nite all early one for me
  • Soooooo bored today can’t wait for meeting tomorrow

15th December

  • Morning everyone just on way to see my social worker for last time before I go in Burbidge on Monday can’t wait n also cut my meds down again today, I’ve never been more ready as I am now
  • Awesome meeting tonight I’ve never seen it as busy roll on tomorrow but for now nitey nite everyone sleep well

16th December

  • Complacency is the enemy of members with substantial clean time. If we remain complacent for long, the recovery process ceases.” Basic Text p. 80 Recognising complacency in our recovery is like seeing smoke in a room. The “smoke” thickens when our meeting attendance drops, contact with newcomers decreases, or relations with our sponsor aren’t maintained. With continued complacency; we won’t be able to see through the smoke to find our way out. Only our immediate response will prevent an inferno. We must learn to recognize the smoke of complacency. In NA, we have all the help we need to do that. We need to spend time with other recovering addicts because they may detect our complacency before we do. Newcomers will remind us of how painful active addiction can be. Our sponsor will help us remain focused, and recovery literature kept in easy reach can be used to extinguish the small flare-ups that happen from time to time. Regular participation in our recovery will surely enable us to see that wisp of smoke long before it becomes a major inferno. Just for today: I will participate in the full range of my recovery; my commitment to NA is just as strong today as it was in the beginning of my recovery.

17th December

  • Had a great meeting n brought quite a bit to share but I really needed it off to bed after my coffee getting rite nervous n everything else for Monday. But I can’t wait just to get there
  • In library working on my step one I needed the peace n quiet to concentrate it’s proper head mashing but issues I need to work through just done question three wow about been obsessed with something believe I’m like a cd stuck on repeat n play lol
  • Everything that occurs in the course of NA service must be motivated by the desire to more successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers.” Basic Text p. xvi Our motives are often a surprise to us. In our early days of recovery, they were almost always a surprise! We’ve learned to check our motives through prayer, meditation, the steps, and talking to our sponsor or other addicts. When we find ourselves with an especially strong urge to do or have something, it’s particularly important to check our motives to find out what we really want. In early recovery, many of us throw ourselves into service with great fervor before we have started the regular practice of motive-checking. It takes a while before we become aware of the real reasons for our zeal. We may want to impress others, show off our talents, or be recognized and important. Now, these desires may not be harmful in another setting, expressed through another outlet. In NA service, however, they can do serious damage. When we decide to serve NA, we make a decision to help addicts find and maintain recovery. We have to carefully check our motives in service, remembering that it’s much easier to frighten away using addicts than to convince them to stay. When we show them game-playing, manipulation, or pomposity, we present an unattractive picture of recovery; however, the unselfish desire to serve others creates an atmosphere that is attractive to the addict who still suffers. Just for today: I will check my motives for the true spirit of service.

18th December

  • Good morning everyone wot a brilliant day to be clean still shocked the fact it’s first one since I was 14 can’t believe it wow lol
  • Just read just for today I love it “just for today I will share my recovery in an N.A meeting”
  • I think that’s brilliant to share your journey with other addicts n friends just to be able to throw everything out ya mouth n leave it in that room
  • Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes I’ve never been as popular in one day hahahaha

19th December

  • Anyone want to meet in town for a coffee my dog is going in foster today not an happy chappy but I know I’ve got to, get myself better but doesn’t mean to say it’s done my head in n been paid today
  • Just bought myself my birthday present buzzing blue addidas bottoms n blue trainers I love buying clothes wouldn’t of dreamt of it two month ago lol
  • Thought meeting woz at 7:30 just been told it 5:30 so I’m walking like a nutter on a mission lol

20th December

  • Well, that’s my bags packed n done just waiting for our mollie to go into foster care
  • I best set a reminder to turn my electric off in morning or wen I’m back in six months I’ll av a rite electric bill lol
  • Took my last bottle of medication today – my journey begins

21st December

  • Morning everyone I’m ready to go Burbidge just waiting on foster carer to ring for mollie now just took her out for last walk.
  • Mollie just gone never thought it cud hurt so much wow
  • I wanted to get to hospital early but come on a hour n three quarters early wow eager beaver lol that’s how much I can’t wait to get in there
  • I’ve never eaten so much pie chips n peas n had seconds now I’m on my pudding I’m gonna come out of ere a rite pie muncher lol its all good
  • They just done my medical on ward wen they wired me up to ecg machine that many wires I woz getting weary thinking is this an electric chair lol
  • Visiting times are half four till eight and on weekends n xmas, boxing days is 10 til 8:30 it’s just that got asked
  • I’m rite happy now thank u Raff Latif for coming n seeing me that’s just made my day wow I’ve never had visitors ere n it just makes it a lot easier bloody hell got tears
  • I can’t believe they av messed my medication up already just gone to get my lefexadine it woz on computer earlier now there is, no meds wot so ever down for me how incompetent r they?
  • I’ve got my card put up where I can see it what all of my new family signed thank u all

22nd December

  • Morning everyone doing great so far
  • I know I’ve got it all to come so taking advantage of being well at the minute eating loads it’s the first time in ages I’ve had three meals in 1 day I’ll put weight on in ere I know that much, they are sorting my meds out this morning I cut down to 15ml today 10ml tomorrow then 5ml day after then none Im gonna be raw as f##k lol won’t be laughing then lol
  • Just had my dinner and also cherry pie with custard I’m that stuffed gonna av an hour or two while I still can n still feel ok lol talk to ya all later, also I got chance to hospital chapel earlier got given a bible and a cross my higher power is watching over me and keeping me well and healthy peace n love to you all take care

23rd December

  • Thank u soooooo much Bradley it woz great seeing u my brother and passed on loads of time we had a rite good chat cheers mate and sending all my love out to everyone of my friends and my n.a family av a great meeting tonight, love n peace, adam
  • Just had my first lefexadine tablet I woz riding it out best a cud but I don’t need to I’ll be glad wen all the meds av stopped I can’t wait but it like that saying don’t run before ya can walk I just get to eager n wanna get things done remember adam just for today n.a has taught me soooooo much which I’m glad for I’m ready to surrender myself and start from ground n work my way up I’ve got that much to learn everything I’ve missed from age 14 to 43 wow.

24th December

  • Its late morning and I’ve slept all way through I had awesome sleep mind u that woz with meds but it worked lol I cut to 10ml today 10ml in two days wow but I start my lefexadine today
  • I’m soooooo shocked of how many people are giving me support it feels great n it’s the rite time for me as well I’ll never forget what ya all av done for me by just been there or just a few words, that can change how u feel from sad to happy n it makes a world of difference I will always be ere to give the same help and support for everyone if needed all my love peace from my heart.

This is as far as I got, but fast forward to 2020. I can tell you Adam never used the train tickets to get to Scarborough a few of his recovery Buddies Mick, Raff and Lee had offered to drive him directly to rehab in case he tried absconding or tried scoring for the last time.

Adam came out of rehab in July 2016, and whilst it hasn’t always been easy, he is still clean to this day. He went into supported accommodation when he returned to Sheffield and now has his place on the Manor. Adam had previously had periods of separation from his only daughter, Leah Jade, but since he started his recovery journey, their relationship has gone from strength to strength. He was beaming the other day about her going to university and how he couldn’t be prouder.

An ambassador for recovery he helped support Sheffield Recovery Community to help raise awareness about addiction and recovery by sharing his story (read here/what here) He’d also completed the Sheffield Ambassador scheme and volunteered for a while with Kickback Recovery before starting as a volunteer coach at De hood. Earlier this year, he helped set a new recovery support group up there.  

I know Christmas is literally around the corner but significant dates don’t count in recovery what counts is that one more day clean. I have put some links below, some sources of support, but in the meantime i just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and lets SMASH 2021.

Love Fordy x

Remember, try not to be afraid of who you truly are, be proud of your recovery and remember, if you would like to subscribe to more posts, please go to https://www.shithappens.me.uk/contact/ and sign up for emails.

 Oh, and If you liked the post please share it on social media and with friends  – and if you didn’t like it then do nothing that’s ok too


Adams story is just one of many recovery stories, proof that we can recover – to read some more go to https://sheffielddact.org.uk/drugs-alcohol/help-and-support/success-stories/

If you are struggling over the festive period, please don’t suffer alone, reach out https://sheffielddact.org.uk/drugs-alcohol/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/12/online-recovery-V5.pdf


2 thoughts on “A Christmas Recovery Tale

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *