Craig’s Story

Since the age of 16 I had always worked. I spent thirty-five years as a long-distance lorry driver. I spent my nights up and down the country, in a different town or city every day and night. Some people hated the sound of it but it never bothered me, I loved working. The plan was to retire at 60, emigrate to Thailand and finally relax. I had a couple of properties that would see the kids through university, everything was set in stone.

One Day I was making a delivery and while unloading a heavy load, the chain support broke and fell on me, I was lucky to survive, lucky to wake up. I tried to keep working after the accident, I kept telling everyone I was fine but I knew I wasn’t, I just couldn’t do it anymore and in the end I lost my job.

Shortly afterwards my marriage fell apart, that’s when my life really went downhill. One bad day turned to another, there seemed no end in sight. I couldn’t keep up the repayments on the properties, eventually they were all repossessed. In the end it was all too much for me, I couldn’t go on, the only option was to take my life. Thankfully with the help of the emergency services I survived, some aren’t so lucky.

I was admitted to a ward and after a few months I moved to The Elms hostel. I had always had my own place. Never in a million years did I think I would be living in a homeless hostel. I was allocated a key worker. She actually cared about people, she listened to me, she made me feel like I was fine and there was a plan to get me back on my feet again. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to live on my own, I needed a lot more support, but I got there in the end.

Once I was stable DENS helped me get my own place and I once again lived a normal life. I go for a walk, pick the kids up from school, watch the football, sometimes I go to the pub but I don’t drink anymore.

Maybe I can’t do the things I used to, I would give my right arm to work again, but I’m still here. Anyone who’s thinking of killing themselves I would say, life goes on. You can lose everything, but eventually you get it all back again, that’s how I look at life now

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