An Essex-born author has published a heart-wrenching account of her late brother’s addiction problems in a bid to help others who are dealing with the same issues.

Laura Swash sadly lost her brother, Colin Game, in November 2019 after feeling the effects of drug and alcohol addiction.

Her book, Holding my Breath, gives a personal insight into what it is like seeing a family member suffer with addiction and being unable to make an impact.

The memoirs look back at fond memories along with some unavoidable moments of grief and offers support and advice to relatives and friends going through similar situations.

Laura, who now lives on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, will donate proceeds from the book to Open Road after the charity supported Colin for a decade.

She said: “I had felt hopeless and helpless watching Colin’s downward drift towards death and after he had gone, I felt equally frustrated and useless.

“I had already written some Open Road articles anonymously about our life and times and had the idea that maybe writing Holding my Breath would allow me to breathe again as well.

Happier times - Colin Game and Laura Swash

Happier times - Colin Game and Laura Swash

“It is a small book but it took me nearly a year to write, as sometimes it was just too painful, and other times it seemed a pointless exercise in self-indulgence.

“However, I realised that not many books like this have been written.”

Laura says the book has gone down well so far.

She added: “I have found my happy ending in reading the reviews and realising that this book is already helping some people.

“We all know someone like my brother and would all like some ideas on how to support them and ourselves.”

Colin was supported by charity Open Road for ten years, in the hope of helping him to achieve a life in recovery.

Read more:

Open Road has helped vulnerable Essex residents to enjoy healthier and happier lives after recovering from addiction for more than 30 years.

The charity is thankful for Laura deciding to donate all proceeds made from the book to Open Road, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic which has seen various fundraisers postponed.

Sarah Wright, Open Road’s chief executive, said: “Thanks to Laura’s unstinting generosity to Open Road, we can help even more people on their journey to recovery.

“Laura’s book is heart rending, humorous and sad, but a factual account of how it really is to see a family member suffering from addiction.

“Colin was so fortunate to have the unfailing support from Laura – many, many people suffering from addiction do not have this.”