Skip to content

Website cookies

This website uses cookies to help us understand the way visitors use our website. We can't identify you with them and we don't share the data with anyone else. If you click Reject we will set a single cookie to remember your preference. Find out more in our privacy policy.

Marcus’ Story

My mess is now my message

“I’d like to try and give someone else the opportunity to have a life beyond their wildest dreams”

Marcus, a graduate of Clouds House who was in and out of addiction for 35 years, decided to jump out of a plane at 15,000ft on October 25th 2020, to raise money for the Clouds House Bursary Fund so others can have the opportunity that he was given.

In the Autumn of 2019, Marcus found himself on replacement therapy, desperate for recovery but unable to maintain long term abstinence – when a friend told him about Clouds House and the bursary scheme. He says “I was in a place of waking up every day just wanting to die because my life had got so painful, desperate and dark.” He made the initial call to Clouds House, was given an assessment over the phone and was placed on the bursary waiting list.

He got back in touch every week to show his motivation, and knew that he was close to getting the final call offering him a bed. He even offered to call every day.  Then the team called back and asked ‘can you come in tomorrow?’

Marcus tells us “The disease kept saying ‘why don’t you just try and go Friday?’ But the team at Clouds House said ‘if you don’t come in tomorrow, then you might not get in. We’ve got to go into lockdown because of COVID, and you may not get the opportunity again.’ I said ok, I’ll be there in the morning.”

Marcus was admitted to in-patient treatment at Clouds House on March 24th 2020, the day the first UK lockdown officially started. “It took me 7 hours to get there. I remember walking through those brown doors and I just felt safe. I felt a lot of love.”  He finished his treatment on 2nd June 2020, has remained abstinent ever since, and is rebuilding his life.

His treatment was funded by a combination of the Action on Addiction bursary fund and his local services. 

Marcus said “I couldn’t walk up stairs easily and asked the medical team if the lift worked. Just my luck, it was in the midst being repaired. My room was at the furthest part of the landing –  but that probably was the best thing that happened to me because it helped me to get physically fit. I could barely do the three staircases, and was huffing and puffing to begin with,  but by the time I left, I could run up them.

Emotionally, mentally and in every area my health got better. There wasn’t one area that I wasn’t supported with. If I had any problems at all I just had to go and ask for help. I couldn’t have wished for a better treatment centre.”

In an immense expression of this gratitude, on 25th October 2020 Marcus bravely undertook a 15,000ft skydive to raise funds for Action on Addiction’s bursary fund, so others can get the opportunity he was given. He says “What used to be my mess is now my message. If it got more attention and more awareness for Action on Addiction, I’d probably go up to the atmosphere, 25,000ft if I was able to!” 

“A beautiful place in a beautiful setting with beautiful people. Everyone in there is a life saver. And that’s why I want to give something back.”

Marcus after the jump

We asked Marcus why he chose to do a skydive to raise money and he said “I did a sky dive years ago for Cancer research but wasn’t in recovery then. This time was a completely different experience. The dive was with North London Skydiving Association in Wimblington. They’re the only people in England that do a 15,000ft skydive. The other skydiving companies only do 10,000ft. But being an addict, obviously I wanted to do the 15,000ft skydive. What’s 5,000ft at the end of the day?  He was able to raise over an amazing £2,200 towards the bursary fund to help someone else benefit from treatment at Clouds House.

“Clouds House threw me a lifeline and I just grabbed it. As soon as I walked through that door, my life started to change. The love, care, passion and warmth that all the staff showed me, from the counsellors to the meds team, to Terry and Myra in the kitchen, to the peers. It just ticked every single box. My life started to change.”

Marcus wants this for others in active addiction looking to find treatment. He says “There is hope and I’m living proof of that. When you’ve got to that place of desperation, places like Clouds House can help you. The gratitude that I have in my heart for Clouds and the opportunity that they gave me …  I just get overwhelmed with gratitude. I get a gratitude attack every time I talk about  it.”

If you want to help someone else get access to life saving treatment at Clouds House by fundraising, email our team here.