My journey into hell and back goes something like this. I started drinking early, mainly to get over my inherent social shyness and low self-esteem (hangover from a troubled childhood). I never realised that drinking to the point of collapse was not the regular way. So began 25 years of drug and alcohol abuse, but I only called myself an addict when there was really no other option. Anything I built broke down. Addiction cost me my business, my wife-to-be, having my own kids living under my roof, many of my friends (who say I turned into a really bad person) and my health. I was miserable, unhealthy, hopeless and hooked.
After hitting rock bottom, and then burrowing down a bit further, by what can only be described as a stroke of luck I ended up in rehab. Getting clean was the first, and obvious, thing to do, which I did through a three-week stay in primary care. It was my window, the one time I had to address this slide, and I went for it.
Staying clean, however, required a different set of skills.
I’ve learned that building a life worth staying clean for is an adventure, a worthwhile challenge, and the best way I know to counter the addictive voice, especially I early recovery. When I learned how to hold down a job, how to relate to people as a sober friend, how to rebuild my family and how to go to sleep at night feeling I had done something meaningful with my day, then the yearning for oblivion retreated bit by bit.
The bottom line is that life now is way more fun and fulfilling now than I ever had it while drinking and drugging. I’m present for my children, I’m in a happy, loving and interesting marriage, and I’m doing what I set out to do when I was younger and my heart uncluttered, which is to be present, supportive and accountable for other people along their journeys.
There’s a good chance that I’m going to really understand what you’ve been going through.
BA Honours Clinical Psychology Rhodes University
UCT Certificate in Executive Coaching
Positive psychology and strengths-based enquiry: Recovery is about personal growth. Let’s tap into your resources.
Integral Approach: Addiction is multidimensional, therefore so is a solid recovery.
Personalised Plan: There is no one size fits all road to recovery. If abstinence appeals, go for it. If reduction in the harms associated with active addiction is your path, go for it. Together we come up with a personally challenging and workable plan of action. It’s your plan, so you’re more likely to stick to it.