A Story of Residential Addiction Recovery

Angus, who grew up in Edinburgh and joined the Army, always struggled with alcohol but managed to hold down his job. However, life circumstances, like buying a house and switching jobs, caused a lot of stress and led to his drinking becoming a problem that he couldn’t control. This resulted in Angus getting thrown out of his house back in 2012. When he returned to Edinburgh, he was told that because he had no living relatives in the capital, he was unable to be offered a place to stay.

On my first night when I had nowhere to go, Bethany were the first people to help me. I went to the Care Shelter and spent the night there.

Once Angus qualified for help, he stayed in temporary accommodation and spent the next 4-5 years staying in B&B’s or staying in veteran’s accommodation. But he but continually lost his place due to his addictions and behaviour, so Angus ended up sleeping rough for many nights on end.

The Care Shelter was an absolute Godsend to me. Somewhere to feel safe, stay warm, get a hot meal, and someone to talk to. It was a safe haven in a life of chaos. The staff were amazing – I never felt judged and I was always treated as an equal, not talked down to.

While at the Care Shelter, Angus talked to staff about overcoming his alcohol addiction, which led him to seeking help at the Bethany Christian Centre. While he was originally reluctant to go, Angus attended an interview and was offered a place at the Centre. That was the beginning of Angus’ journey towards overcoming addiction.

“At first when I moved in, I found it really hard as it was such a big change. I lasted about 2 months before walking out, but Bethany gave me another chance, and then another. They never gave up on me. I’ve now been in the Centre for almost 4 months and while I’m still working through my addictions and issues, I have support and the tools to help deal with things. I take it one day at a time but each day I feel stronger and more ready to move forward. I’ve even changed my name recently to show that my past is behind me and I’m looking ahead.”

Bethany has saved my life. I’d be dead by now without the warmth and safety of the Care Shelter, the food from the Care Van, the day to day support and help dealing with my addictions and issues that I have in the Centre.

Today, Angus hopes to move into a Bethany flat and reintegrate into mainstreamed society. Bethany manages over 70 flats and homes in Edinburgh and the Lothians that are given to people who are ready to take that next step towards independent living.

Eventually, I’d like to give something back and help in any way I can. Each day is a step closer to achieving my goals and dreams.