My name's David Wright.
I've been an alcoholic
for the best part of 25 years.
I'm now a recovering alcoholic
and I'm five years dry.
I began drinking at 14 in East
which is where I come from.
My marriage broke up 15 years ago.
I became homeless because I walked away.
I walked away from my children,
my family, everybody.
I almost went... I did go on the road
and I lived rough,
hostels and everything else.
I suddenly decided I needed
to do something about it,
but it took me 15 years
of more or less killing myself,
to be honest.
The first time that I tried to
I did it alone.
I did it via benefits
and other such means.
In that I failed, I relapsed.
The second time I went for it
I went to the care management team
of the local council where I was living,
which was Croydon,
and with their help and funding
I was able to target
a far more in-depth rehabilitation,
and that was with Turning Point.
Turning Point are an organisation
which has a tremendous reputation
in the recovery field.
I'd heard about them when I was
on the streets, in actual fact.
I was there for the first two weeks
and you get a relaxing time
to settle you in.
With the people around you,
not just the staff, the other
that are there and the staff,
you start easing back, you relax
and start getting into the rehab
and how it works
and what's going to happen,
what's expected of you,
and you build a thing
of what you expect of yourself,
which is good.
So it starts with doing your chores
in the morning.
Cleaning, you get an area to clean.
I found, when I was there,
quite a lot of us really stayed
on the project and we talked.
We talked about
our experiences on the road,
we talked about
our experiences when we were drinking.
Some people think that
that can be detrimental
because you're talking about drink,
but in actual fact
I found it quite invigorating
because it gave me an outlet
to talk about who I am and what I am
without any embarrassment.
It's not like talking to a doctor
or a therapist
who's never been there or done that.
All these people, including the staff,
have seen it, done it,
listened to it and wear the hat.
And it really is quite invigorating
because you're talking to people
who actually understand
what you're trying to get over
and you find yourself listening to them.
If you had seen me seven years ago,
I was a human wreck.
The beard, the clothes. I was a tramp.
I would beg for drinks.
Now I wouldn't even think like that.
Now I am what you see.
I'm not like that any more.
The other thing about rehab is that
you get the opportunity to key-work.
This is where
the really important work's done.
All that is very important but this
really where you do the important work.
You've got to face yourself.
You've got to face
your own inadequacies.
You've got to face
your own shortcomings.
You've got to face your addiction.
You piece yourself together.
You go in and talk to your key worker
and say, "I want to do this,
I want to do that."
And they guide you and help you
think the thing right the way through
to ultimately making the right decision.
I found it an enormous step for me
to actually admit I needed help.
I suppose it was my background,
where you don't ask people for help.
I come from East London,
big, tough old boys.
"We look after ourselves. I can
care of myself." The macho man bit.
But in actual fact I needed help
and it took a big chunk out of me
to actually say, "Please help me."
And I just wish...
I wish so much now
that I could have
swallowed my pride years ago
and asked for that help.