David tells his story of recovery from Alcohol Related Brain Damage.
“I’m in supported accommodation at the moment. I’d let myself go with alcohol which I thought wasn’t a problem until the last stages.
I took a seizure. Between my sister in law’s house and the hospital I’d passed away. They resuscitated me. I stayed in for 13 weeks. I had pneumonia, TB and, I didn’t know, I had Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD).
I was disorientated, I didn’t know the place I’d grown up in. I couldn’t recognise the road. I was looking at the buildings and it was as if I was in New York, cos I thought I’d never seen these big buildings. I didn’t know how to get down the road or up the road.
We got support from Addaction and the ARBD team at Penumbra. They explained that the brain, a part of it had been wiped clean and that’s why I was disorientated and things.
I started building up, going to things. Being abstinent, eating better food. The brain started learning things. I was going to cooking class and doing other courses.
I got the opportunity to move into supported accommodation. I thought ‘I would die for this’, I just burst out greeting. For weeks and weeks after I was going ‘when are they taking this off me?’
My brother died of a massive heart attack. We went to see him in the mortuary, and I kissed him, and I went ‘I promise you I’ll never drink again’.
Now, it’s the best I’ve lived all my life, in the last nine years since I got my wee house. I’m doing my voluntary work, I’m doing peer support work, I’m looking after myself.
There’s help there and you can get better. A wee bit of guidance, a wee bit of support from the right people and you can do it. I’ve achieved so much.
You’ll never be back where you were, but you can still live a brilliant life. Everything I do now is enjoyable. I don’t need anything. Just laughter.”
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