My name is Matt Penn and I a motivational / public speaker and campaigner. I live in Burton Upon Trent which is a small town in the midlands, UK. I am a recovered alcoholic, addict. A survivor of abandonment, child sexual abuse and attempted murder.
I am also the author of recovery is possible: An addict’s story and the founder of The Matt Penn Initiative.
I struggled with addiction in many forms throughout my life since childhood. My addictions stemmed from a means to cope and seek comfort and sanctuary. A method to escape the traumas I had experienced as a child and as a result this formed bad habits which caused me further pain that I struggled to break away from throughout my adult life.
Beginning with solvent abuse and alcohol later in life I turned to substances such as cannabis, cocaine, mdma and many more. But there was always one constant and that was alcohol.
Not long after my 40th birthday I accepted change had to happen and it had to come from within myself after a series of events. I had hit my rock bottom. I started a video blog on my Facebook page when I began my recovery from alcoholism after the death of my Nan and as I got sober, I realised the effects of the childhood traumas I had experienced had fuelled my negative patterns of behaviour such as my addictions.
As I shared my story, I began to realise there are so many adults who have been through similar experiences and had turned to alcohol or substance misuse as a coping mechanism. Many of the people I had spoken to had never shared their experiences because of feelings such as guilt, shame or fear of being judged.
I also had these same fears all my life!
But I learnt that by sharing and finally opening up I did not need to turn to damaging behaviours and in fact I got strength from being more open and finally stepping out the shadows as a survivor and not a victim.
I decided that I would learn about my addictions and in doing so I shared the tools I was acquiring with others and soon amassed a huge following with people messaging me and telling me how they were now on the sober path.
You can check out my Facebook page here.
Now I work to help others, using my lived experience to offer assistance and a hand to lift others out of the whirlpool of addiction and get to where they need to be.
By sharing my story I raise awareness and intend to end the stigma surrounding addiction.
During my recovery I also wrote my first book Recovery is possible: An addict’s story which has been a number one bestseller in various categories on amazon.
And founded the non-profit organisation The Matt Initiative which is aimed at raising awareness. Ending the stigma of addiction and in doing so will lift the barriers to help and support for so many.
One of the best things about recovery is finding new passions. now I spend my time with my family crafting. the crafts we make we sell in our ebay store to raise funds for attending groups and schools.
The power of sharing our story can save lives and prevent others from losing their way. I share my story to do just that.