Family Freedom –  

August 31, 2020 – Timmy, who runs the podcast with fellow recovering addict James Leonard, has been clean from drugs for nine years. For his brother Tommy, the path to a drug-free life has taken significantly longer. Nonetheless, the Knocknaheeny man now proudly tells The Echo that he has been clean for two years. Timmy said it is a huge relief to no longer have to worry about his brother.

“It puts a real freeze on family life,” Timmy said of addictions and mental health issues. “You are waiting for that phone call telling you that your loved one is critical or dead. I can’t imagine what that must be like for a parent.” He said that this was similar to the dread he felt before mental health issues took their mother’s life. He recalled that tragic day in 2012 like it was yesterday.

“She had been dead from the night before and a class officer and priest came to inform us,” said Timmy. “They were as compassionate as they could be within the confines of their professional integrity.

“Mum did the best she could for us when we were kids but struggled with her mental health a lot which made life very difficult.”

Tommy remembered how the tragic news brought them together. … The pair now want to show people that there is a way back from grief and addiction.

“We’re glad that we reached our rock bottom,” said Timmy. “For many of our friends that died, their rock bottom was a box. We live for them and want to show others that there is a way back.” Timmy urged people never to give up, no matter what the situation.

“I thought I’d be dead by 30 but I’m now living a healthy life. There are steps you can take to live a nice, normal life. Prison was very beneficial and helped my integration back into society. I learned the months of the year and the alphabet. At the age of around 32 or 33, I was doing my Junior Cert. I kept going so I could get as many certs as I could.”

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