Anthony and Addiction - Part 2...
Mark and Liam
on Apr 07, 2019 by Lee Robinson
When we asked Anthony to appear on our you tube video, it was spare of the moment and off the cuff.
I thought I would hear about how our addiction impacted himand how he felt watching his two friends fall apart.
What I hadn’t considered is how this was not Anthonys firstexperience of addiction and when we started to film and he spoke, it really hit me how my friend has been impacted by addiction his whole life.
I met Anthony in secondary school and he was one of the biggest characters in the year and even school. Anthony and mark were bestfriends from primary and this is how I met and crossed paths with mark for the rest of our younger years.
Anthony appeared fearless and I don’t just mean tough, I mean he didn’t worry about what others thought or said, if he felt something orbelieved in something he would not back down. This unfortunately meant he wasn’t as popular with teachers!!
I remember being warned about who my best mate was and the influence he had. The ironic thing was when I was with him I felt safe andprotected. Something that has never left me when I am in his company. SomethingI later came to rely on…
I was small and if I’m honest really concerned with fitting in but with Anthony around it all went away.
I was lucky to know his whole family, in particular his mum and dad, I went on holiday with them and it always struck me how lucky he wasto have the home life he did. We bounced around like a double act, started drinking together and doing what boys do, but never went to far and he always made it up for his milk round…
He was always a story teller, he could walk to the cornershop and come back with a tale that would take longer to tell than the journey to the shop and he’d have you in fits of laughter all the way through.
The ironic thing is that despite all this, I have since realised that during that time his family was in turmoil as he, his mum and dad watched as his older brothers struggled with drug addiction. Never once did he tell me or did I see anything at that time that suggested they had this goingon… whilst this shows amazing strength and an ability to maintain normality amidst turmoil, it also demonstrates how there can be far more going on than the outside world can see!
Anthony and I always remained close and friends but for afew years we moved in different circles. However when we crossed paths hebrought me in the middle of his circle, made me feel welcome and once again made me feel safe and protected.
The truth is it was when I wasn’t with him that I started todo things I shouldn’t!
We became close again as we got married, we bought houses round the corner from each other and had kids at a similar time. I don’t think I ever told him but I was so glad to have him back in my life regularly. His wife Amy seemed to complete his picture and our wif’s became great friends!
I think at this point most people in a certain circle knew I was using and to some extent social using didn’t raise too many eyebrows, plus no one saw what I was doing alone. However, I was starting to get questions about amounts and situations is used in. Anthony had questioned things but like with most people I kept him at bay with lies and excuses as to why I had what I had and did what I did.
Fast forward a couple of years, a lot of drugs and more and more using alone, I was kicked out of my home, away from my wife and kids and sleepingat my mums. Who do I text… Anthony?
I remember feeling I couldn’t go to just anyone, I needed to spend time with someone that would make me feel better. In all honesty he metme and yes I felt safe but I think he realised things were out of control. I remember Amy his wife, asking me if I had an issue with drugs and I told them both it was everything else in my life that was the problem, the drugs were under control… how wrong could I be! I think over the next few weeks, Anthony and Mark saw me and started to discuss the glaringly obvious issue…
We had similar experiences, circles of friends etc and yet Iwas the one who feel into the depths of addiction. I think he had more awareness than most due to his family experience and it even meant he understood things better when he saw his two friends fall into the depths of addiction.
Today he is one of only a few people I have in my life from those years, he understands my addiction and recovery better than most and I know would walk through walls to protect me. He has a strong wife and amazing kids and I am lucky to say we are once again in each other’s lives regularly.
Funny how wrong the teachers got it… the bad influence is actually one of the best influences in my life and always has been!