So I’ve not written in some time, some may think I’m not doing as much, but on the contrary, I’m doing more, but I’m doing more in the south west and less online, and being at the forefront of advice and support with FASD Devon & Cornwall keeps me very busy.
In all honest, a year ago I would have never invisioned myself setting up my own organisation. How I’ve got this far I don’t know, but I am determined and passionate in helping those affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol.
So what switched my focus, from online with FASD Through my eyes, to setting up FASD Devon & Cornwall? It came out of a very low for me after Christmas 2015 was spent alone, and I found myself having very negative thoughts, including self harm and suicide. After getting through Christmas and new year, I tried to seek help, most people’s replies where, what is FASD? And what is it I wanted help with? I could answer the first question, but not the second, I know I just wanted to stop feeling how I was feeling, no amount of talking would make it go away. Eventually I gave up looking, but I did find helping others online was helping me, and very rewarding. But…… I could not get the thought out of my head, what about the others in the south west who have no support, and what little help there was came from professionals that only new small parts of the spectrum, like attachment disorders, or ADHD, and personally I feel just addressing one issue, doesn’t always help, when one problem can trigger another. How can you help an individual with an FASD if your are just trying to help with one small part of it.
At this time I didn’t realise just how much experience I had in the different aspects of FASD, all the way from anxiety right through to heavy addiction. In my eyes I was just a bloke who had had a tough break, got on the wrong side of the CJS, and ended up in prison, homeless, wanted to end my own life many times, and attempted it more than once, had a list of broken relationships, and been addicted to alcohol for 10 years, which almost nearly killed me too. To an extent I see see myself that way. But I’ve come to realise my story is one of hope, to so many parent, success for an individual affected by FASD is possible. Yes, we all have our areas that we struggle in, but if you/we can find our strengths the we can excel, and possible become a huge success.
We to can overcome the struggle of living with FASD, yes there will always be things I cannot do, and yes I struggle, but when I am out talking about FASD and educating and supporting others, that is where you will find me at my best, and in my element.
So no matter what you might be struggling with right now and a parent, carer, fosterer, adopter or individual with an FASD, a bright future is possible, sometimes it takes patients, in my case I had to hit rock bottom, but I came back, and I will continue to grow, learn and educate others for as long as I can.