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Transcript

00:00:07:11 – 00:00:41:14
Elliott Wald
Hello and welcome to Coming Clean with me. My name is Elliot Ward and I am the addiction specialist. And here today, my special guest, David Smallwood. David is a 46 year old man, father of six and almost a grandfather of ten, almost. He’s got nine at the moment. And Dave is going to talk about how he built his business to his window cleaning company, how he’s journey from being having an addiction from cannabis, grow up on a council estate to getting into hard drugs of heroin and crack to incarceration, to having a loving family, and to being 15 years clean.

00:00:41:14 – 00:00:52:23
Elliott Wald
Fucking 15 years. I mean, let me check your home for that to begin with. You, right? I mean, that’s that’s fucking great. So, David, tell me tell me what it was like growing up for you and how it was like growing up for you and your family.

00:00:52:24 – 00:01:12:06
David Smallwood
I grew up on a state in Luton. I’ve lived there all my life. Still live there now. I was heavily into cannabis, about 11 years old, so it was rife in our area. And then all of a sudden these other older guys were introducing the younger lot to what we now know is heroin. But we wasn’t told it was that at the time.

00:01:12:08 – 00:01:13:01
David Smallwood

00:01:13:03 – 00:01:14:02
Elliott Wald
What did you think it was?

00:01:14:03 – 00:01:29:16
David Smallwood
Well, we just thought it was just another because we were smoking it. And I always thought heroin was injections and stuff like that. We’d never We’ve spoken in joints at the time. You, I went on to smoking it on Froyo and stuff, but I never ever injected in my whole addiction years. I mean, I was addicted for a good 15 years.

00:01:29:16 – 00:01:47:18
David Smallwood
I gave two drugs before I became clean 15 years ago. So yeah. So growing up on the estate had a massive influence on all of us around that. I mean, it became like a, like an epidemic at some point. And when I was about 16, everyone was doing it. You know, it was it was like the new the new thing, you know.

00:01:47:19 – 00:01:52:17
Elliott Wald
So it was because all the people around you in your estate were using that. You kind of got drawn into it. Yeah.

00:01:52:17 – 00:02:06:24
David Smallwood
Yeah. Peer pressure, you know, just being one of the gangs sort of thing. If you didn’t do it, it was sort of not not, not in the gang, you know, I get that I did this for a couple of years before I even realized I was addicted, you know, like it was just one of them things.

00:02:07:01 – 00:02:13:10
Elliott Wald
Well, that’s interesting. What was it that suddenly made you realize one day that I actually have an addiction? Well.

00:02:13:12 – 00:02:17:22
David Smallwood
I always thought of, like, my mum growing up smoking and drinking. That’s all she.

00:02:17:22 – 00:02:18:17
Elliott Wald
Ever did was single.

00:02:18:17 – 00:02:34:08
David Smallwood
I have a cigaret shed. I never saw anyone else doing it. It was just the people on the estate. So yeah. So it just made it just everybody was doing it, you know? And, and all of a sudden I think it was a case of like, hold on a minute when you tried to sort of stop doing it.

00:02:34:13 – 00:02:34:20
Elliott Wald
You.

00:02:34:21 – 00:02:54:18
David Smallwood
Realize, hang on, I’m physically ill here. But there wasn’t any help for heroin addicts in them days. And I didn’t really want to admit to my family and friends that I had a problem and it was just so much easier at the time to just keep going. Then. Then obviously I couldn’t hold down jobs. I couldn’t you know, I couldn’t.

00:02:54:18 – 00:02:59:06
David Smallwood
I just couldn’t. I had to have it every day. And you were using daily. Daily?

00:02:59:08 – 00:03:00:11
Elliott Wald
How much money?

00:03:00:13 – 00:03:10:13
David Smallwood
Well, it could be anything. What? To be fair, when I was on heroin, it wasn’t actually that much. It was probably about £80 a day max. 80 a day. I know by state, it sounds to me it was like five.

00:03:10:13 – 00:03:11:10
Elliott Wald
Hundred and £60 a.

00:03:11:10 – 00:03:27:00
David Smallwood
Week. I know. But then when you take it, when I when when the crack started to come around, they became like it is now. It’s like crack and heroin always come together, right? So then you could go out and I mean, I was doing I’ve done some bad things in my time, you know, not I’ve never done anything nasty.

00:03:27:01 – 00:03:53:11
Elliott Wald
Listen, listen, let me say this, David. Right? Because it’s an interesting thing. I have clients who come to see me for my help, who serve up, who’ve spent seven, ten years for armed robbery. I don’t give a flying fuck. I’m not here to judge people. I’m here to help people. That’s right. And I think sometimes when you share your story of the things that took you down the road of doing in the path that it took you to can help others from going down that path or getting out of that path.

00:03:53:12 – 00:03:54:21
Elliott Wald
Yeah. So listen, there’s nothing to be ashamed.

00:03:54:21 – 00:04:11:23
David Smallwood
Of, that’s all I like I say, I’ve never been ashamed of my past. You know, I wish I could have started a bit different by. I’m a true believer that your past makes your future. Somewhere along the line, I. I had that the the strength and the courage through my family and I tried to give out for my family.

00:04:11:23 – 00:04:24:07
David Smallwood
And I tried to give up my children. My mum. I didn’t call me selfish. I never really gave up until I really wanted to. I yeah. You know, I made I tried to give it up for everybody else. It didn’t work.

00:04:24:08 – 00:04:41:15
Elliott Wald
That’s a very, very valid point because, you know, I have a lot of family members who contact me and say, my son, my brother, my sister, my cousin, you know, they have this addiction of coke or whatever it may be. I mean, that’s my specialist area. I just want to broaden the horizons of this podcast and how can I help them?

00:04:41:15 – 00:04:46:11
Elliott Wald
And I think, yes, encourage them, be there for them, but they have to really want to do it. Right?

00:04:46:11 – 00:05:07:24
David Smallwood
Right? That’s right. That’s right. I mean, you can’t I think everybody wants to stop music. Nobody wants to be on drugs for the rest of life because with heroin and crack and cocaine or any addiction, it can take away, it takes away your self-respect. It takes everything from you. And I believe that I’m one of the lucky ones that managed to keep it all together at the right time.

00:05:08:01 – 00:05:15:16
David Smallwood
But there’s time. There was one time with my daughter. I was walking. I’d already been a stop taking drugs. I was walking.

00:05:15:16 – 00:05:18:02
Elliott Wald
Now I wish it was time she was sick.

00:05:18:02 – 00:05:38:18
David Smallwood
Well, I think she was still at school. Was 15 years. Yeah, she was just in our last year of school. Okay. And by then I’d been stop in and start in a stop in and started. And I said to I was talking about it last night but there was this one time I’d stopped taking drugs. I’d already accomplished like half with the cleaning around.

00:05:38:19 – 00:05:51:19
David Smallwood
Yeah. Which was my business start up. Yeah. And I mean, I had a car at one point, then I had to stop driving because I lost my license. I ended up with a ladder and a bucket and I walked around, stopped slowly. I mean, you know, stops.

00:05:51:19 – 00:05:52:13
Elliott Wald
Yeah, I don’t know.

00:05:52:18 – 00:06:10:05
David Smallwood
I walked around. There was a ladder and a bucket. Now I was doing that to start with, to support my habit by giving my, you know, bringing some money home for the family as well. And when I didn’t have the car or any more, what do I do? Do I give it all up? I had a load of customers by then so I walked and from that people still know me now as the walk in with the cleaner.

00:06:10:05 – 00:06:10:15
David Smallwood
It’s not just.

00:06:10:16 – 00:06:11:16
Elliott Wald
The walking with the.

00:06:11:16 – 00:06:20:01
David Smallwood
Crowd. I went to Wembley where they’re playing a play and I was walking down Wembley wide about free. People are pointing out there’s the walk in with the cleaner from and you know, well.

00:06:20:02 – 00:06:26:19
Elliott Wald
You’re going to have about a million people now who know that’s the walking window cleaner who’s fucking clean of 15 years.

00:06:26:19 – 00:06:42:06
David Smallwood
Respect. Yeah I know. And I do get that. I get a lot of my customers I’ve had for 15 years and they’ve seen me in a bad place and they’ve seen me come and now I’m driving brand new vans, you know, like it’s not it’s endearing when someone notices it, but when you’re only doing it for you, it’s your life, You know it’s my life.

00:06:42:06 – 00:06:45:15
David Smallwood
This is how I what I was and this is how I am now.

00:06:45:16 – 00:06:52:02
Elliott Wald
So you reached a point where you decided, okay, I can’t do this for other people, but I’m going to do it for me now. So what happened?

00:06:52:05 – 00:07:09:20
David Smallwood
So I was walking through the window one day and I was going to my drug counselors to collect my my methadone is what they give you when you come in off it now or they stabilize you. And I saw my daughter and our friends come walking towards me and we call eye contact as she grabbed her friends and ducked in the shop.

00:07:09:22 – 00:07:10:12
Elliott Wald
Well.

00:07:10:14 – 00:07:28:18
David Smallwood
Now that to me, I knew I had to do something before this, but this was the deciding point. I remember in my life, in my head, I walk past the shop. I didn’t want to go in there and try. I sort of say something I did want to embarrass, but I walked about two 300 as up to my drug counselors and I was in tears.

00:07:28:18 – 00:07:44:08
David Smallwood
Some of it just so I don’t know what took over for me. Something took over me like I was just in tears. And I’ve walked into the drug counselors that day and I said, Martha, something’s got to give. I’ve got I’ve got to get off all of this. I’ve got to get my life back. I’ve got to push forward and grab.

00:07:44:14 – 00:08:07:02
David Smallwood
I need to get their self-respect back, My respect for my children and my wife, because they’ve always been there for me no matter what. You know, even in my darkest times, we’ve had some dark times as a family as well. So that’s how I am. And it just has it. And we were talking about this last night, the alcohol worker, Gwen, I knew her because I’d been dealing with the services for so many years.

00:08:07:02 – 00:08:25:04
David Smallwood
She will pass just as I was talking to my counselor now, she never really said if she you just stood and listened. And I didn’t know at the time, but the next day I got called down and she had a range. She goes, Look, we’ve got available funding for rehabilitation, but I’m an alcohol worker and I have to give it some of alcohol.

00:08:25:05 – 00:08:45:21
David Smallwood
She goes, But I’ve got nobody to give it to. There’s no one here that’s come in here that is worth me spending that type of money on. But I heard your story yesterday and would you be interested? And within two weeks of that conversation, I was off into a detox center, went off from the detox and to, you know, like a rehabilitation.

00:08:45:21 – 00:08:47:09
Elliott Wald
Center to.

00:08:47:11 – 00:09:06:16
David Smallwood
Survivor. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish the rehab. I, I got to the rehab after coming off all of the methadone and are already clean of heroin and drugs. My mind was right. I was in the gym. I’d met my this this boy that went to school, my daughter. I’d met him and in the gym he was 16.

00:09:06:16 – 00:09:25:02
David Smallwood
I was 32 and we became best friends. And I said this I was the best man. It is Indian wedding. And I said this to over a thousand Indians like this boy does not know what he did for me. And at that point in my life, not he didn’t until I said that his wedding, he never knew what he did for me.

00:09:25:07 – 00:09:51:07
David Smallwood
But what he did was gave me a differently, a different person, a different kind of place. I wasn’t that street kid anymore. I had a I had a business that I was working with. I had the gym life and a purpose. A purpose. Exactly that. And that gym life sort of. Admittedly, I did go a little bit obsessive over it, but I found and I said to the wife in that that I rather be obsessive over this and drugs.

00:09:51:07 – 00:09:53:21
David Smallwood
This is helping me. She’s making me healthy. It’s making them more confident.

00:09:53:22 – 00:10:12:11
Elliott Wald
You know what? I love that you just said that because one of the things that I’m a great advocate to my clients, to people who listen to people who watch the Tik Tok, the YouTube is this. And once we have an addictive personality or an impulsivity to want to do something to an extreme right, what would you rather do?

00:10:12:11 – 00:10:21:10
Elliott Wald
Would you rather sit there and use coke, crack, heroin, drugs, or would you rather be addicted to exercise? Only know which one I would rather do every day of the week?

00:10:21:12 – 00:10:25:09
David Smallwood
That Yeah, exactly that. And that’s exactly what helped me.

00:10:25:11 – 00:10:26:17
Elliott Wald
You throw yourself into the I.

00:10:26:17 – 00:10:49:00
David Smallwood
Through not just the gym, but the diet. Yeah, I like the the process. I got addicted to the process. But the thing was it was making me a better person. I came out of myself, you know, like I, when I was in the gym, I was getting better feelings and then coming home and, you know, yourself, you get on the scales or you look at your waist or you look at your abs when they’re coming out in the summer with what purpose you’re training for.

00:10:49:02 – 00:10:56:04
David Smallwood
And I was getting much better feelings from that than I ever did from any drugs that I’ve taken and ever. That’s amazing. And I still.

00:10:56:04 – 00:11:17:03
Elliott Wald
Do. And that’s amazing because, you know, when you think about it, we are dopamine seekers. We seek dopamine. I don’t mean it’s the currency that scientists use to measure our feelings, right. And we release doping with whatever we’re doing. You know, like you have chocolate, you release dope, mean you do drugs, you release doping. Obviously much, much higher level in the chocolate.

00:11:17:05 – 00:11:20:14
Elliott Wald
But when you exercise, you’re releasing that dope. Me Yeah. So that’s your.

00:11:20:14 – 00:11:41:06
David Smallwood
Fix? That’s my fix. Yeah, that is it. I mean, I’ve had, I’ve had some physical failures I could go to the gym for, I could have push and pull for like 16 weeks, but I was still in the gym doing legs. Yeah, I still doing abs. I still ride in my pushbike every morning, you know. So yeah, I can honestly say that that is, that is my fix.

00:11:41:06 – 00:11:51:23
Elliott Wald
Now it’s funny because even when you had that, that injury will call it that way that you couldn’t train for six weeks, you still put yourself in that environment to give yourself mental clarity. Yeah.

00:11:51:24 – 00:12:12:06
David Smallwood
And focus as well to get through that part of you know I mean I’m, I’m an addict. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’ve lost it. I haven’t I have a sussed it. I’m a I’m in recovery and I’ve been in recovery for 15 years. I’ve I’ve relapsed into cannabis use due to stress and depression for my mum dying and grief.

00:12:12:06 – 00:12:20:03
David Smallwood
Yeah, I’m now away from that again. You know, I’ve realized my problem, I’ve worked it out and I’ve I’ve got back on track again, you know. So now you never.

00:12:20:03 – 00:12:21:02
Elliott Wald
Went back to hard drugs?

00:12:21:03 – 00:12:39:00
David Smallwood
Never. No, no, I’ve never. I never would. Never words. No void. I’ve had I’ve had some really tough times last year, I’d say 18 months between the last four years. His mum passed away with the pandemic. It was two days before the pandemic. You know, so and I didn’t deal with it at the time because I’ve got a whole family that are looking to me.

00:12:39:00 – 00:12:57:23
David Smallwood
I’m I’m they were successful, but I’m the one that’s the warrior, you know, The one with the solitude. Yeah, the strong one. So to sit and talk about grief and that I kept it inside. And then and then one day you just implode and, you know, I’d. And it all came out and like I say, it’s a, it’s a couple of things which I was already cannabis.

00:12:57:24 – 00:13:13:20
David Smallwood
So I started smoking a bit of cannabis again. And then it got to the point where I smoked like 58. And your kids were from, you know, this strong America and stuff that probably had no difference in the world. You buy it, they just charge you twice as much for it, but you know, it goes up. So yeah, but I’m back on track again.

00:13:13:20 – 00:13:24:24
David Smallwood
I’m back. I’m back in the gym and I’ve got them feelings again. And I’m I want to push forward. I want to push my business forward. Next year. I’m going to I’m going to write 23 offers about year. You know, I’ve had so many good years.

00:13:24:24 – 00:13:34:19
Elliott Wald
I and I think if you use it as a learning experience, I think that’s beneficial. If you learn from things that you’ve done, you empower yourself to do things differently in the future.

00:13:34:19 – 00:13:35:20
David Smallwood
Exactly that.

00:13:35:22 – 00:13:44:23
Elliott Wald
So it’s almost like, you know, your height of the crack and heroin, you know, in your in your heyday at the max, how much you spending a week?

00:13:45:00 – 00:13:49:05
David Smallwood
I’ve done, you know, I’ve done robberies and spent £2,000 to. Nice.

00:13:49:05 – 00:13:50:10
Elliott Wald
£2,000. Yeah.

00:13:50:13 – 00:14:03:22
David Smallwood
You know, I’ve done that. I’ve, I’ve sold things like, you know, I’ve that there’s not, there’s not a lot that I haven’t thought. I mean I would have gone mug an old granny or nothing like that, you know, I mean I’m not that type of person, but I’ve, I’ve sold drugs, I’ve done robberies, armed robberies like you say.

00:14:03:22 – 00:14:12:21
David Smallwood
I’ve done whatever I could to try it. Shop bag, which used to be especially my because I felt like I wasn’t in anybody in particular. It was just a social.

00:14:12:21 – 00:14:13:17
Elliott Wald
Media addiction.

00:14:13:17 – 00:14:17:01
David Smallwood
Just to feed my addiction and and to put food on the table for the family.

00:14:17:01 – 00:14:26:03
Elliott Wald
Because have put food on the table because you were spending your money on addiction. Yeah. So either way, you are feeding your addiction by by committing this crime. Yeah. To get your next fix.

00:14:26:03 – 00:14:33:10
David Smallwood
Yeah. Yeah. Like I say, from from say, from the height of my the height of my addiction, I.

00:14:33:12 – 00:14:34:04
Elliott Wald
How old were you.

00:14:34:04 – 00:14:49:09
David Smallwood
The height I would say between, say, 28 to 29. Okay. But the night between nine years, I would say from 2020, all the way through to 29, I spent five and a half years of that in prison.

00:14:49:13 – 00:14:50:19
Elliott Wald
In and out or.

00:14:50:21 – 00:14:54:20
David Smallwood
In in that nine years for not just one set.

00:14:54:22 – 00:14:55:20
Elliott Wald
How many times did you and.

00:14:55:20 – 00:14:58:10
David Smallwood
Probably I would say about six or seven times in that.

00:14:58:10 – 00:14:59:21
Elliott Wald
Time, usually for.

00:14:59:23 – 00:15:13:12
David Smallwood
Just cars was a big thing. I was doing a lot of car ringing, stayed in cars to order stuff like that. That was the main crux of it. Driving was mainly my thing, but I’ve done other things. These are the fees. a criminal record. Yeah. We won’t talk about the things.

00:15:13:12 – 00:15:15:01
Elliott Wald
That I spent anyway.

00:15:15:03 – 00:15:17:23
David Smallwood
Anyway, there you go. So you know.

00:15:18:00 – 00:15:27:03
Elliott Wald
You think this is a question, right. Do you think if you never had the addiction you would have ended up in prison having done those things?

00:15:27:04 – 00:15:35:20
David Smallwood
I don’t think I would. I, in fact I know I wouldn’t because like I say, 16, but it’s about 6 to 8 I to change. I may not be in my life.

00:15:35:23 – 00:15:36:09
Elliott Wald
We are still.

00:15:36:09 – 00:15:37:13
David Smallwood
Together now 34.

00:15:37:13 – 00:15:38:24
Elliott Wald
Years old. Give a shout out to.

00:15:39:01 – 00:15:42:19
David Smallwood
Shout out to Trina Smallwood. I love you, darling.

00:15:42:21 – 00:15:44:04
Elliott Wald
She loves you.

00:15:44:06 – 00:15:44:22
David Smallwood
She knows that.

00:15:44:23 – 00:15:45:24
Elliott Wald
Yeah, well.

00:15:46:01 – 00:15:54:12
David Smallwood
Like I say, I had jobs. I was a loan manager at Amazon for for six years, you know. I mean, I had a pension.

00:15:54:12 – 00:15:54:23
Elliott Wald
While you were.

00:15:54:23 – 00:16:18:22
David Smallwood
Using. Yeah, well, I was using. That’s what I’m saying. Like I stopped. I stopped using. Yeah. Then started again. Okay. You know, if this was one of the little Pep Boys, to be honest, that was one of the main reasons why I started my own business. Because because of my criminality from such a young age, you know, I was aligned to Amazon, but I was I ended up getting arrested for stealing a £2.7 million of stuff from there.

00:16:18:22 – 00:16:20:05
David Smallwood
Whereas we we sort of.

00:16:20:07 – 00:16:23:16
Elliott Wald
stuff stuff. So you got arrested for selling to steal.

00:16:23:18 – 00:16:30:08
David Smallwood
Stealing from Amazon. How much. But over 2.7 million that each day I only got charged 565,000 in the end.

00:16:30:09 – 00:16:33:16
Elliott Wald
£2.7 million worth of goods you stole from Amazon.

00:16:33:17 – 00:16:34:11
David Smallwood
Over over.

00:16:34:11 – 00:16:36:06
Elliott Wald
You over a year to feed your habit.

00:16:36:06 – 00:16:39:09
David Smallwood
To feed my habit. And obviously two other guys are involved.

00:16:39:10 – 00:16:40:05
Elliott Wald
But wow.

00:16:40:11 – 00:16:44:01
David Smallwood
So that’s the thing. But then from that I’ve got theft from.

00:16:44:01 – 00:16:48:09
Elliott Wald
Me because that way you got 12 TVs.

00:16:48:11 – 00:16:49:17
David Smallwood
So. 458 actually.

00:16:49:17 – 00:16:59:00
Elliott Wald
Okay, Yeah. Tell me. So, you know, listen, let’s focus on the prison for a moment. That five years you said over that you know.

00:16:59:02 – 00:17:00:03
David Smallwood
Now.

00:17:00:05 – 00:17:02:10
Elliott Wald
How did your drug use go when you were in prison?

00:17:02:10 – 00:17:19:07
David Smallwood
Because to be fair, I used to stop taking drugs when I was in prison. I mean, you’d get if you get in some around there. So it’d be like you might have the odd little thing for you. But again, as soon as I got there, I was looking for a kitchen job and. Jim Right. And it got this is how bad he got in Bedford Prison.

00:17:19:07 – 00:17:35:11
David Smallwood
There was a Jim scare. You called Mr. Apps? Yeah. He’s retired now. Lovely fella. Every time it was so far bad that he would see my name on the list as I’d come in on remand. So it come at six in the morning, get me out, make me do circuits. He never did it for anyone else. It’d be like even on that and die again.

00:17:35:11 – 00:17:53:16
David Smallwood
And you smoke would get out and he’d make me run and do circuits. And after four or five days, all the heroin would come out and you start feeling good again and you get an education. Like, I got carpentry, joinery level two from prison. I did all my GCSE years in prison when I was over 20, so I didn’t do it at school.

00:17:53:16 – 00:18:07:23
David Smallwood
I was messing around, stealing cars, being an idiot, you know, drugs all, all because of drugs. I mean, you start like it’s not just to cannabis. I mean, you go back to that ten and 11. When I was in the children’s home, he was sniffing glue. You know, that was a massive thing in the want to sniff it.

00:18:07:24 – 00:18:16:16
Elliott Wald
It’s almost like you want you to escape from reality, from life. Yeah. And you were looking for any method of escape?

00:18:16:16 – 00:18:32:04
David Smallwood
Yeah. And I was very, very much easily led, shall we say. I’ve always been like that. My headmaster, when I left junior school to go to high school, he said, You think before you act and don’t be easily led and I’ll never listen to should have it a totally different story.

00:18:32:06 – 00:18:36:21
Elliott Wald
So. So when you were in prison, you found most of the time you didn’t use during that.

00:18:36:23 – 00:18:51:16
David Smallwood
But I did use. Okay, but not not to a point where I had a habit because I wasn’t one of these glide lads on the wing that, you know, I would have owed him. you know, which is what comes of it. And you get battered or you put yourself onto another wing. Do you know what I mean?

00:18:51:16 – 00:19:05:20
David Smallwood
Like that wasn’t me. I was more, I mean whenever I was in prison you get a p I’m a personal officer. I always got on with my personal officers, even in young offenders. Like, you know, when you’re the big boy, you fly in every day and all that. I still got all my personal officers.

00:19:05:22 – 00:19:11:19
Elliott Wald
Do you think that the reason you used a lot less in prison is because you were away from your environment?

00:19:11:21 – 00:19:28:22
David Smallwood
I very much do. I very much do. If I did use it be for one day. Because the point is, even though I was in prison, I wanted to get away from the day like when I got two years free is whatever sentence I got. I always looked to get out and what my best possible route was in young offenders.

00:19:28:22 – 00:19:44:13
David Smallwood
I used to fight every day and then you find out you end up doing the whole sentence because you lose in remission because you’re from the wrong area. Yeah. Or because, you know, like, you’ve got to stand up for yourself. You don’t want to be looking like an idiot when someone saying it’s my going to pull next or whatever it could be anyway, someone could look at you the wrong way.

00:19:44:13 – 00:20:04:01
David Smallwood
And in young offenders and you’re fighting. I went to one prison, figured Glen Parva for seven days at 50 to face. You know, it’s like every time someone’s trying to whack you with something or, you know, they now because I was from Looe and are not from felt and more London that was you know that was just a daily routine you know even called not go down and get you.

00:20:04:02 – 00:20:17:03
Elliott Wald
It’s amazing because you know the whole point sorry the whole point about going to prison is to rehabilitate people. But you suddenly put in this pain along with everybody else where everyone wants to be top dog, and you’ve got to be alpha male.

00:20:17:03 – 00:20:17:18
David Smallwood
That’s right. Yeah.

00:20:17:20 – 00:20:18:24
Elliott Wald
And that’s not helping you really.

00:20:18:24 – 00:20:37:20
David Smallwood
Because it would and there weren’t enough of them. I don’t think anything I did in young offenders at all helped me in life. I think all it did was make me realize when I got to be a man to to adult prison to, to proper age. MP That that, you know, this is just I mean, I’m not I’ve had some of the best laughs in my life in prison.

00:20:37:23 – 00:21:01:06
David Smallwood
I mean, can you imagine, like, so some grown up hooch. Everyone got a pistol. They split in apple and orange juice cider or someone in up in the freezers is cell was just exploded with hooch. Now the whole prison stinks of alcohol. You know, they like some of these things. I look back and think these this was hilarious times, but it was only hilarious times because you had to make the best of where you were.

00:21:01:09 – 00:21:11:05
David Smallwood
Right. You know? I mean, a Bedford Prison, we used to throw lines from the top of the ceiling over the wall. Yeah. So people on the outside could try anything they wanted.

00:21:11:11 – 00:21:12:18
Elliott Wald
And what sort of things were you.

00:21:12:18 – 00:21:38:08
David Smallwood
People getting phones in, You know, like stuff like drugs and I, I used to get paid to fraternize because I was in a like a workshop so I could get the ball and the the line to do it. So I, you’d get paid for that part angry care what else come over. And it all stopped one day because they hired the razor wire because someone from Liverpool decided to go out of prison telling me to get a gun over the wall.

00:21:38:10 – 00:21:51:10
David Smallwood
You know that all that money that people were making from drugs that were coming over that. Yeah. And people figured I’ll screws must be bringing in this idea. I mean it was just a simple line over the wall and then a phone call that I sat in on in a come back, you know.

00:21:51:12 – 00:21:54:15
Elliott Wald
So how did your usage affect your family? Talk me through that.

00:21:54:21 – 00:22:18:00
David Smallwood
very, very badly. I mean, with me, like, I am so grateful. And so I’m actually really proud to all six of my children. Yeah. They’ve dabbled in cannabis and stuff like that. None of them of that. I could none of them are addicts. I mean, my oldest daughter, she’s 31, she’s just opened up. She’s got a very, very high paid job anyway, but she’s in a state agency and stuff.

00:22:18:00 – 00:22:20:21
David Smallwood
But she just opened up her own estate agency like, Wow.

00:22:20:23 – 00:22:21:19
Elliott Wald
What’s her name?

00:22:21:21 – 00:22:25:05
David Smallwood
Jamie Smallwood. And profit property Life in Luton.

00:22:25:05 – 00:22:26:13
Elliott Wald
Property. I’m in Luton.

00:22:26:13 – 00:22:49:09
David Smallwood
Shout Yeah so for all your your sales and let’s give her a shout Jamie you been much appreciative of it so yeah she’s she’s doing that Stevie she’s got four free daughters and a son now, an unexpected son. And so that was great grandson She’s she does her mum does, she works in a childcare and in nurseries and stuff like that.

00:22:49:11 – 00:22:58:20
David Smallwood
Then you got David is my double basically we work together, we’re business partners and when the gravy later when the cleaners and any external cleaning her.

00:22:59:01 – 00:23:02:01
Elliott Wald
Little advert there.

00:23:02:03 – 00:23:10:20
David Smallwood
But yeah then you got Casey and Gerard which are but they’re both working at Tui in the airport doing aircraft replenishment and technicians and that so they’re doing really well.

00:23:11:00 – 00:23:26:07
Elliott Wald
You know it’s a funny thing I’m going to say into interrupt is a funny thing right Because growing up with a father who had an addiction and a big heavy addiction by your own image. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. You go one or two ways because people go, my mother was an alcoholic. My father was an alcoholic.

00:23:26:07 – 00:23:42:01
Elliott Wald
My dad took Yeah, my mum did this. How else was I going to grow up? But I think two things can happen. You can either follow in their footsteps or you can see it because they can’t not see it, right? That’s why no matter how much you hide it, they can not see it. And they think, this isn’t the life for me.

00:23:42:03 – 00:23:42:22
Elliott Wald
Yeah.

00:23:42:24 – 00:24:02:03
David Smallwood
I think I honestly do believe they obviously with me not being them a lot of time as well that training plays a massive, massive part in the way they’ve grown up in that respect because my wife has never taken drugs. Yeah. And a lot of people I’ve see like with my friends, it was always their mother misses them and their male partner.

00:24:02:03 – 00:24:19:06
David Smallwood
They’ve been the girlfriend and girls or or even getting girls and then getting them on gear and prostitute them out. But I’ve been in situations like that where I just thought, you, you know, you are so light. But that’s what these sort of drugs do to you. You know, like you you hit rock bottom and then some people want to keep going.

00:24:19:08 – 00:24:43:21
David Smallwood
Like me, I managed to crawl my way back up, you know, like, and everything I do now is for my family, you know, like, we we we live to pay our bills, to live lives, to buy nice things, you know, like to be comfortable on holidays, right? majorly so, because for five and a half years, they didn’t have that, you know, like at the point, the thing that made me feel so bad as well is that I grew up with my mother and my nan.

00:24:44:01 – 00:24:50:09
David Smallwood
I don’t know my dad. Yeah, my dad left before I was born. And and basically that that was it, you know, to think.

00:24:50:09 – 00:24:59:11
Elliott Wald
Do you think not growing up with a dad and living on that estate with those people who did drugs, those blokes around you became your.

00:24:59:13 – 00:25:00:16
David Smallwood
Your father figures like a.

00:25:00:16 – 00:25:01:05
Elliott Wald
Father. Yeah. Yeah.

00:25:01:07 – 00:25:19:09
David Smallwood
He looked up to him. Yeah. You want it says you sell the money in the cars. I mean I was buying cars when I was 14 years old. Wow. You know, I mean, it was all the, the, the hashish stuff back in them days, you know? And that’s the same thing. Like, I was driving around in Nice cars when I was 14, you know?

00:25:19:11 – 00:25:39:09
David Smallwood
Okay. So I taught myself to drive, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, it’s funny because I didn’t pass my driving test to eight years ago, 38 years old, but I drove since I was 13 years old. You know, they like people’s cars that were insured just so that I could get around to do what I was doing, you know?

00:25:39:11 – 00:25:56:15
David Smallwood
So, yeah, it’s it definitely had a massive effect on my children, you know, And it took me, I got to say, at minimum, from that day of rehabilitation, at least free to maybe five years for them to see that now does not go back down.

00:25:56:15 – 00:25:57:13
Elliott Wald
That to build the trust.

00:25:57:13 – 00:26:15:06
David Smallwood
To be able to trust, to build the relationship. And I have a great relationship of all six of my children. Shay was the only one that I didn’t mention just a minute ago. And he’s he we go out every weekend, he rides motocross and he races. Although he’s not the best in the country, you know, he gets top 20 finishes out of 40.

00:26:15:06 – 00:26:32:09
David Smallwood
I find that great for me. You know, it’s not it’s not the cheapest sport, you know, to start up in a race. A race we take a costly charge, a quid for that, £200 for me and him. It’s expensive. However, as father and son, no one else comes about now. His girlfriend’s coming, so we’re going to have to do something about that.

00:26:32:09 – 00:26:34:06
David Smallwood
Go out right away because we don’t.

00:26:34:08 – 00:26:35:06
Elliott Wald
Have quality time.

00:26:35:06 – 00:26:36:06
David Smallwood
They’ve a quality time.

00:26:36:09 – 00:26:55:18
Elliott Wald
I get that 100% because I’ve always taken my son to the gym, you know, most. Yeah. Yeah. You know, since he was like 11 years old. Yeah. 24 now. And that quality time, that bond that whatever you do, you can’t replace that. No. You know them years when you, when you have an addiction and and you want to push everyone away because all you want to do is go and get your drugs.

00:26:55:18 – 00:26:57:18
Elliott Wald
Yeah. You know, you’re rebuilding all that.

00:26:57:19 – 00:27:14:13
David Smallwood
Yeah. I mean in them days I would have. I mean we’ve got times I trailers that’s to hide money because I’ve never stolen from my family. Never. But I would try and like say, let me somebody and I’ll give you a back and you know, times you could give it back or you get arrested or you gone away for six months.

00:27:14:13 – 00:27:24:09
David Smallwood
And I’ve just left with no money. You know, they so she’s tough to hide money and stuff for me, things like that. That doesn’t make you feel great, you know, when you realize. So it’s all these things that you just think.

00:27:24:12 – 00:27:25:21
Elliott Wald
At what point did you realize that?

00:27:26:01 – 00:27:43:08
David Smallwood
I think it was about when my first prison sentence was 20. I went inside for for being in a stolen car and and the 44, it made me laugh about was I had a bit of a reputation with the police in there. And the guy that was driving the car got less time than I did and I was sitting in the passenger seat.

00:27:43:10 – 00:27:46:19
David Smallwood
How does that work out? History? You know what I’m saying? It’s like with.

00:27:46:21 – 00:27:47:19
Elliott Wald
They’re waiting to catch.

00:27:47:19 – 00:28:02:02
David Smallwood
You. Well, that’s what it is. Yeah. All you helped me when I was for everybody, and I used that phrase waiting up the road because they’d know that I was in stolen cars. But they knew that I was driving certain cars. Yeah. So they would park in their undercovers and wait for me to come round. And I’d swim in and things like that.

00:28:02:02 – 00:28:04:02
David Smallwood
I’ve, I’ve, I do that when I was younger, you know.

00:28:04:05 – 00:28:18:09
Elliott Wald
When I listen to you, one of the things that I want the people listening and watching is to take away from them is it doesn’t matter how far down you end up going, it doesn’t know how bad your addiction is. It doesn’t matter what drug you’re addicted to. There’s always a way out.

00:28:18:09 – 00:28:32:11
David Smallwood
There is. There is. There is. And you’ve got to want that way out. I mean, because some people, they’ll sit there and they’ll tell you to your blue in the face that they want to stop. And I’ve tried to help people. I do a lot of social media. Yeah, we’ve got to start up very soon and just try and give something back.

00:28:32:11 – 00:28:52:18
David Smallwood
I don’t want anything from it, but if I could touch someone’s life because I’ve been on the bottom, I’ve been rock bottom. Yeah. And I’ve managed to crawl by, I’ve done it. If it’s passion, whether it’s love for my family, whether it’s just self respect, you know, like when you walk out, you have washed for a week, you know, all of a sudden you wake up in the morning, you jump out of bed and you’ve run it out.

00:28:52:20 – 00:29:08:12
David Smallwood
You thought you’d run it from here to London for a £20 fix. You know what I mean? And if you’ve only got that £20, you might break into it. You’d literally steal a car to go to wherever you’ve got to go. You know what they like. What’s your life? Is that for me? Let alone the family that I had behind me at the time, you know?

00:29:08:14 – 00:29:14:21
Elliott Wald
And what are you and what do you do? You ever see those people that were on the estate that got into drugs at the same time as you? You ever see any of them?

00:29:15:00 – 00:29:33:22
David Smallwood
it is funny, you know, because there was one boy, I’m not going to mention his name, and he’s in town now and he sits outside Lloyds Bank in the banks in that down there begging right now. This way. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But this guy, a lot of us looked up to the guy. Yeah, We had the women, the cars, the money, the jobs, the work, you know?

00:29:33:24 – 00:29:57:09
David Smallwood
And now he’s. He’s lost. Ever fade out. He’s there. A 69 years old and he’s been over in town begging, you know, I mean, you saw the sights, the train like I used to look up to him. You know, I made I mean, in fact, I did like a long remand. Yeah. With him and someone else. And the whole time he was on remand them to applying for me to take the rap for this charge.

00:29:57:11 – 00:30:13:19
David Smallwood
Yeah. In the end, we all got away of it, but they got out way before me. Yeah. And I stated to trial. They ended up saying to me they would try to get me to take the rap for this because I was the young one year I was the naive one year. By the end of the day, you’d go out on bail before me.

00:30:13:19 – 00:30:29:19
David Smallwood
They went round the whole estate telling everyone I was the grass, I was this, I was that. And then in prison it got to a point where some of the people were believing it and I had to stand and fight for my rights. Hey, no, no, you better go in the numbers people are going to do. Yeah, people are going to stab you or give a might bring it on because I know.

00:30:29:21 – 00:30:47:20
David Smallwood
Yeah. That is my depositions read them you know I mean and, and luckily one of the guys in there. Yeah another big face from Bedford, he knew a bit about law and he looked through my paperwork. Yeah, my, my, my barrister was telling me, Go get me on this because they’re going to get you with this, that and the other.

00:30:47:22 – 00:31:07:00
David Smallwood
And I was. I was, I was not ready to go to trial because I’d not spoken to my barrister long enough. So I changed my barrister to this guy’s barrister. This guy’s barrister came word I didn’t even get paid for it. So after the trial, two days in, they threw the whole case out so I could. It’s. I carried on ten years for something that they set me up for.

00:31:07:01 – 00:31:11:11
David Smallwood
It just shows you that now he’s sitting at home, is begging. Ain’t got nowhere to stay If.

00:31:11:11 – 00:31:35:07
Elliott Wald
You just seen that, you know, this is this is the thing that I would love to somehow get out for those people who are starting to get into this addiction and into this spiral, into this web and surrounding themselves with these people. If they had an opportunity to see ten, 15, 20 years into the future of the people they admire and look up to and have got money and drive a nice car and then see where they are, I mean, that’s an eye opener.

00:31:35:13 – 00:31:59:18
David Smallwood
God. It would be a I totally would have changed my life if I could have saw that. You know, hindsight’s a wonderful thing. It yeah. You know, I mean, but there is there’s always hope for anybody that is struggling with addiction. I mean, I still say that I’m an addict. So we were all addicts. If you were if you addictively or have to do something on a daily, daily basis to get that fix you’re addicted to, it could pregabalin sex ever since I’ve seen it.

00:31:59:22 – 00:32:01:00
David Smallwood
when I was in rehab and stuff.

00:32:01:00 – 00:32:01:17
Elliott Wald
Absolutely.

00:32:01:17 – 00:32:22:10
David Smallwood
And the point is, if you really want it in here. In here, it’s got to be in here. Yeah. You can make it. You can make it. I mean, I’ve got a successful business of 15 years now. Yeah. Admittedly, I could thank my drug addiction for this business because I wouldn’t have got up on them. Snowy, snowy days, walking, trudging with a ladder just to make it a day.

00:32:22:11 – 00:32:38:07
Elliott Wald
I’m not. I’m not sure that you can thank your drug addiction for that. I think that you can thank your deep value Somewhere inside of you said, I’m going to make sure that my family don’t go without food no matter how fucking deep into this addiction I am. Yeah, there’s something in your core that said I’m still going to provide.

00:32:38:08 – 00:32:39:17
Elliott Wald
Yeah. So I think that’s where.

00:32:39:18 – 00:32:53:17
David Smallwood
It is while I was there, but I couldn’t provide what I wasn’t. Yeah. And you know, I mean, at the time I didn’t see that I, for when I got out doing all this, I’m giving you money, but I would give it some time, I would give the kids the time and I did suffer a lot.

00:32:53:19 – 00:32:54:23
Elliott Wald
You felt a lot of guilt, right?

00:32:55:01 – 00:33:11:02
David Smallwood
Exactly. What I was just about to say. I felt so much guilt five, six, seven years ago. So I tried to make up, but kids were just buying stuff, you know, taking them out, shopping and stuff like that. But did any real things really at all? That made me feel bad because at the time. Nice.

00:33:11:03 – 00:33:11:15
Elliott Wald
You feel.

00:33:11:15 – 00:33:27:12
David Smallwood
Bad? Exactly. But I did it make them feel better? They they were like that. You don’t get arrested anymore. We’re not worried that the police are going to come in the door. We’re not going to worried that we’re not going to see you from one month to the next. That is progress to me. Yes. You know, I could take my daughter out for free.

00:33:27:12 – 00:33:44:23
David Smallwood
I got my daughter Jamie, the oldest one. I got her into the gym life. She was party girl, you know, up until 28. I mean, she had a little boy when she was young, but, you know, she was she’s always been a work hard working girl. But sometimes she’d switch her phone off with one day. We had to put a Facebook post out as anyone to see in.

00:33:45:01 – 00:33:47:04
David Smallwood
Do I mean, yeah. How bad is that?

00:33:47:04 – 00:33:52:10
Elliott Wald
Especially coming from your what you got into. Yeah. Your mind must have been racing. Yeah.

00:33:52:11 – 00:34:09:14
David Smallwood
Hoping. What is she doing. Where is she. Right about I she’s just a party girl. Her two friends will be in London every year. They would ever all the clubs, you know, all the big clubs and that house music. But then she, she just started out just over a year ago age I are granddaughter and it just changed her.

00:34:09:14 – 00:34:20:04
David Smallwood
But she got into the gym for me take it out to the gym and then all of a sudden now she’s not not obsessive over it, but she’s like, She’s a pretty girl, You know, I’m not going to die. Well, both my daughters are very pretty Girls.

00:34:20:06 – 00:34:21:03
Elliott Wald
Of the type of boys.

00:34:21:03 – 00:34:45:01
David Smallwood
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, they take it anyway, so. But yeah, so, you know, she she loves gym life. And I’ve been to the gym. We were like, we go, you know, me and Stevie, when I had a bit of problems, I was in the hospital with my accident. She, she was the first one there to make sure I was alright, you know, And she lives in like a bar and I don’t get to see her as often as I want to, but she was the first one there, you know, the first face I saw when I sort of realized.

00:34:45:01 – 00:34:46:04
Elliott Wald
I just stopped by you haven’t they.

00:34:46:11 – 00:34:48:24
David Smallwood
they have. Yeah. I accredit that to because.

00:34:48:24 – 00:34:49:21
Elliott Wald
You were a fucker.

00:34:49:23 – 00:35:03:11
David Smallwood
well, exactly. Let’s put it that way. We are. I was. I was. I was an also I was and also I just was there. When I was there I would be dad, but it just don’t seem to like when I look back. It wasn’t the same then. Now I’ve got a.

00:35:03:14 – 00:35:17:01
Elliott Wald
Question for you. If you were, if you now could look back and give your self at the age 18 to 2223, any advice? What would you tell your younger self?

00:35:17:01 – 00:35:35:16
David Smallwood
What would I tell my younger self to stop being a fucking idiot? What are you doing? You know you’ve got the world around you, you know, like you’ve got a loving wife. All that kids. You know what I mean? Like so much to live for. And you’re just going down, down, down. You need to. You need to take a step back, Dave.

00:35:35:16 – 00:35:48:21
David Smallwood
You need to get back. You need to get in the gym. Now. You because I used to do boxing and stuff when I was younger, but never waste. But it was I started the way. So like I say, I got addicted to see the changes. Like you say, they’re slogging away for about a month. Then all of a sudden something changes.

00:35:48:21 – 00:36:12:04
David Smallwood
You know, your biceps are bigger, your chest looks a bit better. And I, I’ve always been quite egotistical as well, You know, I don’t I think I think I think men get out a lot though they, you know, so I always want to look the best I can. I always want to wear the best clothes. You know, I will always what I have the the latest stuff, you know, So yeah, I’ll just to just say you’re not going to be where you want to be if you carry on like this sort of thing, you know?

00:36:12:06 – 00:36:12:19
Elliott Wald
That’s cute.

00:36:12:21 – 00:36:13:05
David Smallwood
Yeah.

00:36:13:08 – 00:36:19:22
Elliott Wald
Yeah. Listen, it’s been a pleasure to have you. Thank you for sharing. Yeah. And I hope everybody gets St Francis. One last thing.

00:36:20:02 – 00:36:20:19
David Smallwood
But.

00:36:20:21 – 00:36:27:13
Elliott Wald
What is the one thing that you would advise somebody who’s struggling with any form of addiction right now?

00:36:27:15 – 00:36:51:20
David Smallwood
Ask for help? I made a few really deep down in your heart. Want this deep down and I know you do. Then reach out. There’s going to be someone if this video can help you, if Elliot can help you, if anybody that you’re related to, anybody you know, anyone who you look up to or respect or just get in the gym, you know, like anything like that, there’s got to be there is another way.

00:36:51:20 – 00:37:09:12
David Smallwood
There’s the you know, it might seem like a high mountain to climb, but once you start climbing, them steps get easier. Once the steps get easier, the purpose becomes better. And before you know it, you’ll be in a place where you can sit back, say, Alright, I did that, I’ve learned from it and now I’ve moved on. That is perfect.

00:37:09:12 – 00:37:10:11
David Smallwood
For instance, I really.

00:37:10:11 – 00:37:11:17
Elliott Wald
Appreciate your time.

00:37:11:17 – 00:37:12:06
David Smallwood
I appreciate.

00:37:12:06 – 00:37:13:00
Elliott Wald
It. Thank you very much.

00:37:13:06 – 00:37:14:08
David Smallwood
For the opportunity. My thank.

00:37:14:08 – 00:37:14:15
Elliott Wald
You you.