Inspirational stories

Addiction Recovery: Philip’s Story

Philip’s battle with addiction was a long and lonely road of thirty years. It brought him to the brink. Now, because of your kindness, he’s in addiction recovery – alive, well, and ready to help others.

Philip is a man with a thousand stories. He’s calm and softly spoken, with bright brown, caring eyes. You can see why people warm to him. Coming through his journey of recovery, all he wants to do now is help others who are struggling with addiction.

“I was always outgoing, and bubbly and I was mad into sports growing up. I was a teenager when I took the wrong track, and I didn’t know how to turn back.”

When Philip speaks of what brought him to MQI, his bright eyes darken. You can only imagine the hardships he’s faced – the loneliness and isolation of being homeless and living with addiction.  

Man with brown hair in his 40's wears a thick winter jacket and is smiling against a clear blue sky

From homelessness to a fresh start 

“I was living in a tent in a field. I used to cry myself to sleep at night. I was disconnected from my family, and I just wanted to die. I used to pray at night-time ‘Just take me out of this’ and at the time I thought I was dead.”

When Philip turned to MQI for help, he found the acceptance and compassion he so desperately needed. “It was somewhere where my drug addiction was seen as a symptom of something bigger. The team at MQI helped me with what I really suffer with, and I was able to work on everything in a safe environment.”  

It was your love – your understanding – that gave Philip the strength to continue on his journey. “It was the first time I really believed in recovery. I said, ‘Right, I’m not going to be a statistic to the disease of addiction’”.

Philip is now in MQI’s Aftercare House and is taking part in the Aftercare Day Programme. The programme offers people in recovery an opportunity to continue their personal development, enhance their skills, or continue into education and employment. Here Philip has structure, support and safety.

 “The best is the structure of the programme. That safety-net. You’re just building yourself up, your self-esteem, your confidence. You’re building relationships. It just gives you time to reflect on what’s important.”

The compassion and care that MQI supporters share with people like Philip is felt in the one-to-one support he receives from his MQI Keyworker.

“My Keyworker is great. I get great support from him. To have that extra support from somebody who understands addiction and recovery. It’s so important for people like me. I’ve no problem picking the phone up and saying, ‘I need just a bit of a dig out, I need a bit of support’”.

Philip has a quiet strength that radiates from him, particularly when he talks about his children. “My driving force is my kids. I got drug-free for myself, I stay drug-free for them. Probably the biggest support I got was around access to my children. That’s what I’m most grateful for now, getting that relationship back with my children.” 

And he’s grateful for each and every supporter of MQI who can see the person behind the addiction.

If you could only see how you changed my life. I wish everyone could see it. More people might look at addiction a little bit differently and see we aren’t bad people. We’re very caring and loving and compassionate people, and we just suffer from something that a lot of people don’t understand. I’m so grateful that MQI supporters can see that.”

Philip is looking forward to using his experience in addiction to help others. “I’m looking at going back and studying Level Five Addiction Studies. I can offer so much through my experience… everything that goes into recovery.”  

This is the power of your kindness. Thank you for helping Philip in every step he takes on his journey in recovery.


Learn more about MQI’s work in supporting people through addiction recovery here

Donate to support people like Philip in their recovery journey here.

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