Army veteran Terry found his life spiralling out of control due to alcohol addiction.
With our help he put himself on a path to recovery, and in December 2020 he marked a whole year sober.
Terry, 49, served in the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years, leaving service in 1992.
"After joining as a junior soldier at the age of 16, I undertook basic training at Catterick which I thoroughly enjoyed and gave me a sense of real belonging and family in that environment," he says.
"I eventually specialised in a trade which was telecommunications and became a highly trained communications specialist employed on a task of national importance during Operation Granby.
"I was also posted in Cyprus and conducted two tours of Northern Ireland which were classed as emergency duty."
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Although he went on to have a successful career in telecommunications outside the military, Terry found himself becoming more and more dependent on alcohol.
"In the background alcohol was a presence and it had always been part of the culture in the military, a way to unwind, and I took that through to civvy life.
I soon began to become more and more dependent on alcohol and began to spiral.
By 2019 Terry was in desperate need of help.
Having lost his job, his family and falling into debt, he finally acknowledged his addiction and reached out to us for help.
“It took a lot of time for me to build up the courage to make that call,” admits Terry.
“However, one day I got a call back and it was an Information Advisor from the West Midlands RBL team and she told me directly there were a lot of ways the charity could help me but they couldn’t help me unless I helped myself.
“It was what I needed to hear and something just clicked!
“So, the next time she called from RBL, I was ready and sober to start the process of getting help.”
To help Terry get back on his feet we paid a Debt Relief Order and helped him apply for limited capability benefits, as well as helping him to buy a fridge for his home and providing him with shopping vouchers.
We also referred him to counselling sessions and advised on a local support addiction service, with our local Case Officers checking in with Terry over the phone on a regular basis.
All the little things RBL has supported with have made a big difference.Terry Barnett
"They lifted the pressures and worries I had off my shoulders and this allowed me to begin to address my addiction and seek the help I needed.
"The case officer and advisors I spoke with at RBL were understanding and I was comfortable speaking with them from the outset.
"They never gave up on me and it was that contact on a regular basis that really kept me going over the past year to stay sober and get on the right path."
Alcohol Awareness Week
Alcohol Awareness Week takes place from 16-22 November, and it is this month that Terry is marking a whole year sober.
He is hopeful of becoming a volunteer for RBL soon and is also doing a counselling course, aiming to help others.
"I hope my story encourages others to reach out, even in the most desperate of times, and contact the RBL to see how they can help," says Terry.
"I really can’t thank them enough and if one person hears about my experience and calls RBL then I know that I have helped.