A couple who were ‘close to death’ as a result of their heroin addiction have shared their remarkable transformation after 10 months clean.
It’s one of the hardest things to do, but 32-year-old Holly Fitzwater and her 30-year-old partner Jake have managed to completely turn their lives around in a short space of time.
Holly, who now works for NHS Test and Trace, started taking the class-A drug at the age of 20, and it led to her having her son taken away from her, as well as prison time for shoplifting.
In 2019, she met fellow addict Jake, and the pair began to take the difficult steps to getting themselves off the drug.
Holly explained: “I was so scared of the withdrawals – they were so sore that I was petrified to go through them.
“The first time I shoplifted my heart was pounding, I felt sick and was shaking – but all that was going through my head was ‘Holly, you’re going to feel ill, these withdrawals are going to be painful’.”
The couple had become estranged from their families, and were living in a ‘cold, dark and dingy’ flat together.
On Christmas Day 2020, which is Holly’s birthday, they decided to get clean.
“We were there in this cold, damp flat with nothing and I said to Jake ‘we can’t live like this anymore’.
“The next day I phoned Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth council begging for help.
"Perth offered us a tenancy and 28 days later we packed up and moved instantly – no furniture, just a few bags of clothes.
“We had to move. In Fife we knew every dealer and all of our friends were addicts.
"We had tried to stop before and would stop for a week but then in town we would bump into an addict or dealer and relapse instantly.”
They started to take methadone to help with the withdrawal, and isolated themselves away in their new home to avoid relapses.
Their commitment, as well as taking it one day at a time, has helped them turn their lives around in less than a year.
Holly continued: “We followed the same routine until eventually one week had gone by without using, then another.
“The cravings were still there but we became more determined – the more stable we got, the better we felt. We were liking our new life.”
Now, they share their stories with others in the hope that they can help them, too.
“I used to think I'll never get clean and do that that's a fairy tale story, but I did it and I want to show others it's possible while educating children, parents and adults on how to get help, how to recover.
“[I want to] show them how it's possible – getting clean is not a dream, it's reality.
“I know as an addict I did horrible things and I regret them every day, but by helping others I hope I can make amends for it.
“Now I’m concentrating on staying clean, working and most of all seeing my family grow with love and happiness.”
The couple are also ‘more in love than ever’ and have got to know the ‘real’ them since stopping using.
Furthermore, Holly has started to rebuild her relationship with her son, even having him over to stay on weekends.
They shared a video of their turnaround that has since been viewed 3.8 million times, receiving 230,000 likes.
One person commented: “You should be so proud of yourselves really happy for you.”
Another said: “Amazing well done look how far you’ve come! Keep going don’t ever give up.”
A third agreed: “Such an achievement you should be so proud.”
Featured Image Credit: Jam Press
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