A 37 year old father-of-three found himself ready to jump off a Penzance pier and take his own life just a few months ago.

Now, having found support for drug and alcohol issues, Craig Strippel is starting the New Year with a fresh zest for life and has taken up running.

“I stood on the end of Albert Pier, intoxicated, and I knew the tide was out so there was no water to break my fall. I was so close. My head was consumed with negative thoughts and saying do it, but my legs wouldn’t move.

"A fisherman saw me and kept his torch on me while he called the police and for the next hour a police officer talked to me until I came away from the edge. He offered me a cigarette - that’s what did it in the end."

Craig said that the "stress of life" and drinking heavily had taken its toll and led him down a dark path.

"By the age of 24, I was working 60-80 hours a week as a senior chef in charge of 11 other chefs. We had enormous daily targets on food and could sometimes work 4.30am-1.30am. I could have 30 pints behind the bar some days, but I was also making loads of money, so could spend £800 on a night out. I was hardly ever home. At my heaviest, I was drinking from 8.30pm to 3am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“My girlfriend kept telling me to stop, but I didn’t want to admit it, I thought I was all right - apart from my growing beer belly. Even when I was at home, I used to go out fishing quite a bit to drink where the kids couldn’t see me."

As time went by, Craig was tired all the time and would lose his temper over small things because he was always thinking about drinking.

"I realised I had an alcohol problem, but didn’t think there was any help out there. I just felt shame and I didn’t believe that anyone loved me. I thought the only way I could stop drinking was to end it.

“After the police talked me off the pier, I went to the hospital and from there found Addaction. I started going every day, attending sessions and meeting my key worker Gary. I still go twice a week and Gary gives me a call regularly to see if I’m ok. My passion for running has come back too and this has had a hugely positive effect on my mental health.

He is gearing up to run the London Marathon to raise money for Addaction - the alcohol and drug charity that supported him to take back control of his life.

“My New Year goals are to become a recovery champion and support others finding their feet at Addaction - I’ve seen with my own eyes how powerful that is - and to run the London Marathon to raise money for Addaction so more people can get the support I had.”

To sponsor Craig, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/craig-strippel

If you too would like to challenge yourself all while raising invaluable funds for Addaction, please contact us through events@addaction.org.uk to find out more.