My world fell apart one Christmas. My Mam died on Christmas morning and my Dad died one week later. Both deaths were unexpected. I also broke up with my boyfriend of eight years. I thought I had it all, a good job, money, wealthy boyfriend, lovely home, family, friends and a future. Then it felt like everything was gone. I began relying on alcohol to get me through the day until that stopped working. Then I started to self medicate taking anti-depressants and sleeping tables with the alcohol to knock me out for the day. The days were too long and the nights were too lonely. That was how I started on the road to homelessness.
All my money was being spent on drink. It became my first priority. Bills started piling up letters right, left and centre looking for money. I got way in over my head with my rent arrears. I got into so much debt. My family became worried and suggested that I hand back my flat and live with my sister. She thought she could sort me out and that this was the answer to all our problems. But it wasn’t. I had started seeing another boyfriend who became mentally and verbally abusive after a short time. I moved back and forward between my sisters house and my boyfriends. My sister believed that I had gone from the frying pan into the fire with this guy and no longer felt able to help me. She had asked me not to move in with him and I didn’t listen to her. I knew it all. When I realised my mistake, and asked her to take me back into her home, she told me no in a nice way.
Another sister let me stay on her couch until I got a place of my own. I couldn’t believe I was homeless. I was in the Priory in Tallaght one day using their phone service looking for a flat, when I got talking to one of their facilitators and she told me about Daisyhouse. She gave me a little booklet and helped me fill in the application form. A few weeks later, I went for an interview and was accepted onto the Daisyhouse waiting list. Six weeks later I moved into one of their projects.
It was a small flatlet but it felt like winning the Lotto.
After all the to-ing and fro-ing between sisters and that headcase of an ex-boyfriend, it felt like paradise and it was mine. It came with the security of knowing that there was support for me. I felt safe. It didn’t feel like just any old flat. When I was moving in, I wasn’t worrying or panicking. There was someone there to help me and encourage me to start taking responsibility for my life. There were rules and I was not used to rules. I had been used to doing what I liked, when I liked, so I definitely did not like the rules. At the time I did not agree with them but soon I came to realise that they were for my own good. I needed them. Before long I had stopped drinking alcohol and self-medicating. I took my prescription drugs as I was supposed to. My rent, food and bills became my priorities.