After years of hard drinking, father of two Emir Taha finally hit rock bottom as he contemplated taking his own life.
It was January 2019 – exactly a year ago this month – when he decided he no longer wanted to be a burden to his family and planned to “end it all”.
At that point, Emir, 41, was a homeless alcoholic who had abused drink for two decades.
He had lost his wife, friends and his job and the only time he got to see his two daughters was if he hadn’t been drinking.
Emir said: “January 2019 was the lowest point for me. After 20 years of drinking and being an alcoholic I decided that everyone I knew and loved would be better off without me.”
Fortunately for Emir, his ex-wife and the mother of his daughters, aged three and seven, stepped in when he confided in her her what he was planning to do.
She quickly got in touch with police, which would prove to save Emir ‘s life and pave the way for his recovery from alcoholism.
One year on from his lowest point, Emir has been sober for 11 months and plans on staying that way.
He has stayed in Dundee’s Jericho House for the majority of the past year and admits his recovery continues to be “one day a time”.
He said: “All I can do every day is do what I did the day before to keep me sober.
“Nothing is guaranteed for me. The only thing certain in my life is that I can never again pick up a drink.”
Alcohol would dominate Emir’s life, even leading him to think about when he’d next be picking up a drink while he was playing with his young daughters.
At his worst, he was spending around £25 a day on alcohol which would range from vodka to alcopops.
He said: “The only thing I did every single day was go to buy drink.
“It had taken over my life and it was my main focus every day. Even when I was spending time with my daughters, I was thinking about when I would be able to go for a drink.
“I had drink everywhere. I felt safe if there was drink in my bag and I had it hidden in my house and in my ex-wife’s house. I needed that crutch.
“I could drink up to two litres a day of vodka but I also drank cider, alcopops, anything really.”
Despite his battles with drink, Emir has been in work for the majority of the past 20 years and even lived in New Zealand for five years during that time.
He worked in the sports industry, which he admits opened his eyes to his eyes to his own physical state.
Emir said: “I was seeing all these people getting themselves fit and well and all the time I really wanted to do the same but just couldn’t.
“Eventually when things got so bad and I accepted I couldn’t live without alcohol, I got in touch with Jericho House because I knew I had to make this work.
“It’s not always easy and there are some very difficult days but I am determined this is it for the rest of my life.”
For Emir, talking about his plight and – more importantly – recovery helps.
If not just for him, Emir has discussed his issues to ensure anyone who is going through the same thing can get the help they need.
He said: “It’s now a release and a relief to finally be able to talk about it.
“My life is so much better now and the future looks brighter.
“My daughters have their dad back, my parents have their son back and my friends have a good, reliable pal back.”