I needed help. My life was in a mess and there was nothing I could do about it. I was an alcoholic and I’d spent the last 25 years of my life in and out of prison. I began to talk to the Samaritans, managed to get the help I needed. I went through the AA 12 steps programme and I got clean. I was so grateful I wanted to start giving something back to the community that I’d taken from for so long. I helped on soup runs, feeding the homeless. Things were going good for me.
Then my dad died. He’d been more than a father to me; he’d been more like my best friend. I could tell him anything and we talked everyday. Until he died.
I went back on the booze. The only thing that helped me from giving up all together was that I had to stay fit to look after my young son. But Christmas was the worst. I’d grown up in a large family and Christmas had always been special. We’d read the story in the bible and go to midnight mass. My dad had taught me the real meaning of Christmas and I missed him so much. That year I just about managed to get through the day while I had my son with me. In the evening, when he’d gone, I went up to the cemetery to talk to my dad. I woke up next morning lying on my dad’s grave, an empty whisky bottle in my hand.
And now I'm back in here. And in prison I have a choice: I can stay in my cell and do nothing or I can try and sort out my behaviour.
I've got to make the right choice, for my son’s sake.
Lovely? I don't think so.