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Anthony Cummins: My Personal Journey into Recovery Coaching 

My history with drug & alcohol dependence stems from my own personal experience .

From the age of 15 to 27 - I drank regularly and took any drugs that were available . Up to the age of 21 I smoked Marijuana and snorted amphetamines but carefully avoided Class A drugs such as Cocaine & Heroin.

Whether it was due to peer pressure or aimlessly looking for the next ‘high’… I eventually found myself taking Cocaine which then led me into taking Heroin.

I took to Opiates like a duck to water and it rapidly became my downfall . My rock bottom took me into my late 20’s.

Deep down I knew time was running out for me and my attempts to quit were half hearted as I believed I could drink and use drugs recreationally once I could control the addiction .

I was losing my family , I became unemployable , desperate, and could not see a purpose or bright future for my life .

I narrowly avoided going to prison. I had been arrested for possession with intent to supply; a custodial sentence was imminent. Fortunately that became my deterrent to seek help and support .

After getting clean and sober, my first break came when I received a probation order rather than time in jail . The judge saw that I was trying to get my act together and kindly placed me on 18 months probation .

I had found a support group for ongoing recovery maintenance, which I still am part of today .

When I first came around to recovery I had to dig deep and learn about myself …there were parts of my childhood and teenage years that I tried to bury and run away from right up to adulthood. During childhood I had been sexually abused by a family member and later on by my primary school teacher .

I tried to hide this trauma by acting out and being the crazy kid at school into my teenage years . I put on a brave boisterous front as a young man but deep down inside, I hated myself and hated reality.

Being in recovery is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has given me freedom and showed me a belief that I can be of service to other people with similar problems and obstacles in their lives.

I have been fortunate enough to assist and help people get and stay clean and sober through their own process and challenges when life can get difficult .

In 2004 a dear expatriate friend was visiting London from Los Angeles, she introduced me to her travelling friend.

Her friend had set up his own Sober Companion agency in Los Angeles and was looking to branch out by taking the company into Europe. He was looking at potential coach candidates . He and I did stay in touch for a short period when he returned to L A, but I lost interest after a while . Coaching was relatively new to me, plus I could not see how it would work out for me. The overseas long distance plus time difference of having an L A employer clashed with the work I was doing in London.  I was a partner in a recording studio business and my commitment to starting a new career was limited and complicated .

For many years , friends of mine had been constantly telling me that I was really good and a positive influential help to people with drug and alcohol problems.  For me it is something that I have never taken for granted. It was something that came naturally to me. From day one I was grateful to have another chance at life and my gratitude reaches out to to help others who also need help 

In 2019 I signed up to the Recovery Coaching course run by IRSI . The course was educational and also fun …It answered all of my questions on how to coach clients by mentoring and supporting them. The course opened my eyes ( and ears ) to how I can learn more about recovery plus enabling me to meet the clients where they are at . I have also learned more about myself and how my own skill set can work in the recovery industry .

At the IRSI class , the tutors were excellent, always on board, and available to assist with the many questions and concerns I enthusiastically threw at them each day .

I passed the course with ‘flying colours’ and because I enjoyed it so much I decided to improve my skills by signing up for the Family Intervention course .

I was apprehensive about taking the courses, and did indeed find it a challenge, but again the tutors stepped up to give me supportive feedback and guidance . I underestimated myself but was pleasantly surprised as the course progressed. I was focused, and gradually understood how to conduct an intervention. It was a beautiful and fulfilling achievement to have also passed this second course .

As a result of this learning I have since carried out a successful family intervention in my working life . My recent client is presently happy and free from active addiction due to accepting the help that the family and I planned as part of the healing process for that particular client's new start to life .

Janique and Evyan ( Tutors) from IRSI are always available to me whenever I need feedback should any new challenges arise in my new vocation .

When I received my coaching / interventionist certificates I spent a few months of networking to obtain employment as a Freelance Recovery Coach .

I let go of a steady full-time job. My timing was almost catastrophic due to the Covid 19 world lockdown but I survived. I have no regrets at taking on a new career in what were such uncertain times .

I am presently active and working as a coach, sometimes privately and sometimes under contract. I have built a good rapport with my contract employers but most importantly a good rapport with the clients that I am able to help

I very much appreciate all of the dedication and passionate work that IRSI promotes and instil, and the support they give to their graduates .

I know I made the right choice in choosing them as my guide and tutors .

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