Charlie, 52, was a participant in the Building Bridges photography project run in partnership with Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol.
He said: “The workshops helped me get out of the house, as I had turned in on myself when I was drinking. It was great getting out and meeting people and the camaraderie with the group was really powerful – they were all good people and they understood what you were going through.
“They were all on their own road to recovery so it was great to be able to share some of our experiences with each other.”
Charlie described his own recovery journey. “I had a great job as an electrical fitter since I was in my twenties, in the early 90’s I started getting this pain in my eye but it went away and I didn’t think any more of it.
“Then about 2000 it started slowly getting worse and I was at the doctor’s all the time and they just said it was tension. That was when I started drinking to deal with the pain – it was the only way I could get a sleep at night.
“Eventually I told my doctor about my drinking and he put me on to the CAT and they transferred me to DACA – it was probably the best thing to happen to me.
“I’ve been coming in for counselling and though the pain hasn’t got any better – I was eventually diagnosed with Horner’s Syndrome which is a pretty rare disorder – I have learned how to cope with it better.
“I was shutting myself away for a long time with the drinking and getting the support at DACA I started seeing things differently.
“I described it in the photo exhibition as ‘a wee light coming on in my head one day to get myself sorted’ – that was exactly what happened, it was my light bulb moment.
“I’ve already bought myself a projector to see my photos on the wall and now the course is over I’m getting my own camera as I miss not having it in my pocket when I want to take a photo.
“There is a wee story behind every picture and it’s good to look back and remember what was happening at the time and how you felt then.”