On deaths doorstep I was scraped off the floor and went to try change my life.
My name is Benji, I am 31 years old. I have been battling with addiction for 18 years. I had a lot going for me in my younger years, especially regarding sports. I was a very confident secure young lad. Back at home things were far from perfect, my mother and father had a broken marriage and my father was absent most of the time leaving my mother to try bring my brother and me up on her own whilst going through her own struggles.
At the age of 13 I had distanced myself from the family home and took myself out of the family completely. I started to find myself trying to seek for acceptance and a family as such anywhere I could find it. It just so happened I would find it in the culture of drugs and alcohol. I completely lost myself and all of my young innocent identity and found myself very lost in the world.
All of my sporting activities dropped away one by one as I started to experiment with alcohol, which led me on to other substances. After putting my mother and family through extreme hurt, stress and a lot of pain, the sort that would break any family, I was finally put into care. One year later I came out worse. I went on a downward spiral of multiple convictions, damaging a lot of lives and inevitably a lengthy jail sentence. I was a broken young man, I had lost everything, my family, my friends, my life and most importantly my identity.
I spent nearly three years in South Africa in a rehabilitation centre, and discovered God for the first time in my life. Returning to the UK, things seemed to have changed. However, my life took a turn for the worse after my partner and I had a daughter, who we tragically lost at three months of age due to having a hole in her heart. Again I lost everything and I eventually ended up on the streets with a severe heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
On deaths doorstep I was scraped off the floor and went to try change my life. I truly found God on my knees, and a much deeper understanding of Christianity, and he completely transformed my life.
I have been clean and sober off all substances for 19 months. I now live in Lighthouse Homes, which is a Christian charity focused on helping and housing people who are struggling with addiction and homelessness. From the moment of entering Lighthouse I have been shown nothing but care and love and have been constantly blown away by the success and privilege of watching lives be completely transformed. Instilling Christ into everything they do this community represents a true reflection of the care, love and support that people so desperately need. From the activities, to the church to just sitting around the table having dinner together like a real family……..Lighthouse is nothing but a blessing.
Partner - Lighthouse Homes