Sam's Volunteering Story

I spent over a quarter of a decade with addictions and working worldwide in a job I loathed which led to greater money and greater addictions.   Early 2017 I committed suicide, 5 operations later I was released after a week, only to do the same again start of 2018. 

This time I was paralysed, overdosed, with DVTS and suffered a pulmonary embolism.  After 3 months I was released hobbling and lucky to walk on crutches. I was registered as disabled.

I ended my Opiate replacement therapy within one year, with the support of my co-presenter Linda Algie.  I also stopped all morphine painkillers - and am now 8 months free of it all.  I have to use a muscle relaxant to sleep, but I endure the pain during the day. I will have irreparable nerve damage for life in my lower back.

So where does shmu come in?  Well I am signed off as disabled, although I am fighting back. This is an opportunity to not only use my knowledge (30 years of fitness and nutrition) but also to fight my anxiety and depression.

I was welcomed at shmu, everyone is upbeat and happy.  I went from being unable to talk on a telephone to presenting shows.   The boost from shmu was imperative to my recovery.  I hope to help with their fitness event in the summer, depending on social distancing and lock down rules.

Volunteering right now also gives me something to work on daily - contacting possible supporters for soundbites and producing the show remotely. I believe so much is in the mind - the positiveness from all at shmu is infectious.  I push harder, I am 8 months off of my crutches much to my physios disbelief. 

I am entering my 3rd year in recovery with no relapses.  Again I thank shmu for their part in this.  The confidence I gained led to me returning to my original charity of ADA - now one of their naloxone trainers and a volunteer.

Also from shmu I moved on to Street Friends helping the homeless with my new found confidence, feeding 100 homeless people 4 nights a week. Again it is the finding myself which is with sincere thanks to all of you at shmu and the wonderful Linda Algie. 

I am just one person, but thanks to those mentioned I have turned 30 years of addictions, into moving into my 3rd year in recovery with no relapses.  So thank you shmu.

I believe community information can get us through any crisis, working together and supporting each other.