Jimmy had stopped drinking and was staying in St Martins’ dry house. He had been attending NA and AA meetings as part of his recovery but the main therapy for Jimmy was the gym. He said, “The gym helped me deal with all my negativity. When the virus hit, I didn’t realise how much I relied on it. It screwed me totally.”
Jimmy had experienced lapses in his addiction here and there. Overall he was progressing well, but when lockdown happened he didn’t have the strength to maintain the progress he had made.
He said, “The gym helped me to deal with my negative emotions and my addiction issues. When it stopped I was just left with all my unresolved issues.”
Jimmy suffers from anxiety and found going to the gym helpful – it fulfilled a social need for him as well as a physical and psychological release.
Lockdown and the closure of the gym proved too much for Jimmy, who struggled to adapt to the restrictions.
“Why don’t you just go jogging, or do pull-ups and all that…but it’s about people. Because I suffer from anxiety, social situations are difficult for me. I’d found a little golden nugget here. The way it was going, I’m smashing at the gym…I’m looking good, it’s doing my confidence, I’m serving the social thing. Then boom, it got shut down. It blew the back of my head off basically.”
Once he had resumed drinking, Jimmy could no longer stay at the Dry House so he was offered a room at St Martins hostel Bishopbridge House. Jimmy said, “I had put a good effort in, and admitted my mistakes so St Martins gave me another chance.”
Now Jimmy is focusing on healthy behaviours rather than negative ones. He said, “I’m paying my bills and responding to my responsibilities. Trying to put roots back in. I need to chip away at my bills. When they’re out of the way I just need to keep my nut down.” He is looking forward to the day when he can get a place of his own. “I feel that’s going to be an exciting part of my life. That’ll be true independence.”