Chris now has his life under control after being on ‘self destruct’
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Chris, 46, is in a very different place today to where he was two years ago when he was referred to Bromford following the death of his wife. Struggling to cope with day-to-day living, he was leading, in his words, a "chaotic, illegitimate and illegal style of life."
Chris was using heroin up to five times a day and admits: "I was on self destruct."
Chris's benefits stopped when his wife died so he had no income and was unable to pay any bills.
He picks up the story:
"I couldn't think beyond the fact that I had lost my wife. My wife's family moved back up North after she died and friends didn't want to come round and listen to me crying. I had nothing except Bromford. Within an hour of being in touch they had sorted me out with some money to get by, food parcels and arranged to visit at specific times.
When I went to try and get money in my own right, I was refused and told that there was 'nothing wrong with me' which was very far from the truth. Bromford helped me to successfully appeal and also supported me with paying bills and getting into a daily routine.
Drugs became less important and I am now in the right place. Bromford helped me out of a situation where I had no money, no pride, nothing except debts. Now I am clean, pay my bills and have no problems with the house. I have never been proud of myself and have always been a big let down, but I am proud of myself now. I don't lie awake all night feeling ill, smashed out of my face, and don't lose days that I don't remember anymore.
Everything is now on an even keel. I have a schedule to my life and meet appointments that I need to - I've never done that before. I'd change a lot of things from my past and think my wife would be proud of me now.
I have gone from being about as far away from a responsible member of the community, to someone who is exactly the same as anyone else. I don't do anything for people to complain about, I'm doing what I should do. I wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for Bromford's support services. I know what's happening now and it's great to have everything under control.
Bromford has helped me so much."
Emma - Chris's support worker
When we first came into contact with Chris his life was hectic and he left bills until someone knocked at the door.
He was originally referred for tenancy support as there were some issues with maintaining his property and antisocial behaviour. He needed support with money as all the benefits were in his wife's name so they stopped when she died. He didn't know where to go or who to contact for help. We assisted him in managing his income so that he can prioritise making sure his bills are paid and there is enough left for him to eat and live. Chris is now in credit with utility companies and his bills will be reduced as he is no longer in arrears. There are no more concerns with how he is living. The next step is to manage his garden, arrange for repairs to be carried out and to replace his front door. This is only possible as Chris is now taking responsibility for managing his tenancy.
I am incredibly proud of the change from how he was two years ago, he's a totally different person in absolutely every aspect of his life. He has a routine, he is paying his bills, he has a quality of life now and is healthier than he's been in a long time.
To download a PDF of Chris's story, click here.