No1. Navigating Difficult Conversations: Approaching Your Parents About Drug Addiction and Seeking Help Initiating a conversation with your parents about your drug addiction can be one of the most challenging steps on your path to recovery. However, admitting your struggle and expressing your willingness to seek help is a crucial milestone toward healing. The process
Betinna’s father was astounded by the remarkable transformation and recovery his daughter experienced upon joining the rehabilitation program at Houghton House Rehab. Betinna discovered hope for a brighter future at Houghton House. Her father openly acknowledges their daughter’s battle with addiction and expresses gratitude for the professional and life changing assistance she received. “Betinna was
I’m Shameela, I’m an addict
Take my will and my life / Guide me in my recovery / Show me how to live.
In this moment, I’m sitting on the floor, on the phone with my youngest sponsee, writing my story. My cats are pulling at my tights, and I’m by the fire trying to warm up because I still have that Houghton House mentality of not wearing pyjamas around the house.
This is the picture I have of my father: glass in hand, unsteady on his feet. Our nightly ritual was about to begin. He’d start by criticising one of us. As his voice grew louder, we’d move quietly through the house, retire to our rooms, and make ourselves invisible. Later, we’d reappear to help get Dad to bed. I assumed that’s what happened in all families. No one ever said a word – no questions, no comments. Just a job to be done.
From Addiction to Recovery thanks Houghton House
My name is Nontetho Noni Mathe, 39 years old South African, born in Northern Kwazulu Natal in a village called Nqutu later I moved to Durban and spent most of my teenage & young adult years there, I have worked in Durban & Johannesburg. This is my story from Addiction to Recovery
I’m the firstborn in my home, I grew up in a very loving home, my parents are still married and I have two younger sisters.
My nickname in treatment was “Bones”. I checked into HH on the 18th of August 2015 with the help of my elder brother. My DOC (drugs of choice) was crystal meth and GHB.
I had gone from 84kg’s to 55kg’s. I was anorexic and severally malnourished. I had lost the will to live, but somehow got the courage necessary to get the help that I so desperately needed.
I don’t think my story is that different for many other addicts in recovery. About 4 years before going into treatment I got into financial trouble and decided that it would be a great idea to get two housemates into my home to help pay the costs.
I honestly did not think Sober for one Year could ever happen
after approximately 30 years of drinking, the last 15 yrs heavily.
I do believe if he hadn’t gone to Houghton House rehab when he did our family would not be together today. So a big thank you to everyone there, and to Andrew who runs the Saturday Houghton House support group meetings, who helped me from the beginning of my journey, To understand that I had no control over my husband’s addiction, and I needed to let go of the guilt I felt and the feelings of “what was I doing wrong” that I couldn’t get him to stop no matter what I did.
It was September 11th, 2011, I sat in the passenger seat of my mom’s car as she drove me to rehab, watching the cars and people go by. I was so numb, so dead inside and yet two emotions kept on trying to surface – the idea that I wouldn’t have to fight anymore to get my fix and anger – anger at being stopped, anger at ever having started.
I was confused, disorientated, lost. My mom kept on crying, asking questions, blaming me, blaming herself, blaming the world. I lashed out to stop her from talking, to stop the horrible and cruel voices inside – the sounds were too loud too invasive.
It’s all about never wanting to chase your darkness, choosing to surrender and not give up ……
Close your eyes! Hold your breath! Imagine you are in an elevator! No window! No air! It’s pitch black and you have NO idea how you are going to get out!
Some people know this feeling and for those that don’t know this feeling – this is how it feels to be stuck in the claws of addiction!
I knew I was in a trap but each time I swallowed a few tablets, restricted food or had a drink which was a daily routine I convinced myself that the trap was a figment of my imagination and that the next day I would stop! Obviously, that was complete denial!
Eleven years of sobriety from being an alcoholic and the search for serenity and self-love.
Today the 22nd of October 2017 is my birthday, my recovery birthday, eleven years of sobriety from being an alcoholic.
When I spoke to Dy about writing something for the Houghton House website, we initially were going to do it as an add on to my existing story on the website. However as I started thinking and realising just how much had changed since that story was written and how much I had changed, I felt that a new story was in order and the old story should stay is it is, Dy agreed.
Recovery from being an alcoholic is hard, recovery is easy, recovery is a joy, recovery hurts, recovery is boring, recovery is exciting and it is so much more and it can be all of this at the same time. That for me is it’s real gift.
Recovering Addict finds “HOPE” from rehab in Joburg
Love, Hate, Fear, Gambling, Sex and Addiction. This is my story of, after being admitted and finding hope from rehab in Joburg.
From an early age, I never quite experienced much stability. At the age of 2, I was sent away to live with my grandparents. At the age of 4, I returned to live with my mom yet again. At the age of 9, I was shipped off back to my grandparents, returning aged 12. At the age of 14; I was scheduled, yet again, to live with my grandparents. This, however, was no longer possible…
Shameela T – An Addicts Journey Into Recovery from the Depths of her Addiction
God, grant us knowledge that we may write according to your divine
precepts. Instill in us servants of your will and grant us a bond of
selflessness that this may truly be your work, not ours, in order that
no addict, anywhere, need die from the horrors of addiction. . . . .
Hi, my name is Shameela and I am an addict. I am a 37 year old woman from
Pretoria, with a loving husband and two wonderful kids. I am the youngest of
Like most of us, I come from a dysfunctional family.
My Recovery from Addiction to Heroin
Seven years of growth after seven years of hell.
Today I celebrate my seven years of living in the real world. It is a very different experience to living in active addiction to heroin. In active addiction, my best days are still worse than my worst days of sobriety. And believe me; life has thrown a lot at me since being sober. My parents’ divorce, a terrible breakup, loss of family members, being broke, operations etc…
If you had told the broken soul that I was seven years ago that today I’d be seven years sober, I would not have believed you. When on your knees with despair, the life drained from you, you just can’t see anything beyond how you are at that moment. You have become so absorbed by your drug, your drug-using persona and the hopelessness that comes with addiction to heroin, that you can’t see yourself ever leaving it behind.
But you can! If I did (could) then so can you.
Secrets Make You Sick – Recovery from Severe Crack Cocaine Addiction
by: Trevor Kleinhans
11 Years ago exactly I was in the height of my Crack Cocaine Addiction. It was around this time that I opened my bedroom door and looked across at my 3 year old Jack Russell’s face and ran over to her and just sobbed until I fell asleep. I woke up with her little brother licking my face and Jessie still lying next to me as if she was standing guard over me. See:>>Behavioural Addiction can be difficult to identify<<
Sarah’s* Manic Lifestyle on GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid)
GHB It’s an ongoing process –
The party/club scene is always coming out with variations and new additions on an old theme – feel good and party drugs.
We would attend private Ecstasy parties regularly, a select grouping from our party social circle, those who could handle the excessiveness of our drug consumption, and make sure all would have a good time, you don’t want anybody losing it and ruining it for everybody too early in the evening.
Lindsay A’s Success Story of Overcoming Her 30 Years Addiction.
My name is Lindsay Ackerman and I am a recovering addict. Before I start telling you all about my life, let me begin with the fact that I lived all my life unaware of the fact that I had an addiction, and that I was an addict. I had no clue that the world of NA and recovery existed, I never had any understanding of anything and definitely did not have an understanding of who I was or the disease that I lived with for 30 years.
22 Year Old Alcoholic That Has Become One Of The Many Youths Enjoying Sobriety
I was born in Johannesburg in 1992. I am the middle child and was born into a well off family. I went to a nice school in Johannesburg, but my only memories were of me crying and being deeply sad at school. We eventually moved to a peaceful coastal town where I went to a new school. I immediately felt better and was more comfortable at school. Two things that made life difficult for me were this continuing anxiety as well as being very argumentative. I believe these came from a deep rooted insecurity.
Bronwen Smith’s Raw and Honest Story of her Recovery.
My Life Story – Bronwen Smith (Experience-Strength-Hope – 18 Months – 04 June 2015)
I’m Bronwen and I’m an addict. I’m going to take you on my life’s journey and hope you take something out of my share.
I come from a loving, stable, secure family. So secure that my parents are still married after
42 happy years of marriage. I have one older brother, Brett who is married to Christie. They have a 2 year old son Cole, who they’ve made me legal guardian to, which I am very proud to be.
Four years ago I was in a sorry state. My partner was in active addiction and I was suffering and sick.
I did not know what to do any more, I was in a fight with his addiction, overwhelmed and frightened. My ultimate fears were that I might make his addiction worse or if I asked him to get the help he might choose drugs over me and leave me.
I was in turmoil. He was spending my money, he had lost his job, we did not see our friends very often. I was constantly distracted and on edge. I had threatened pleaded and made lots of suggestions and demands, but the situation just carried on and got worse.
Nick N’s Fight For Survival from Addiction
‘I alone can do this but I cannot do this alone,’ says Nick, a recovering drug addict.
“GOD, grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference. My name is Nick and I am addict.” These are the words of recovering drug addict Nick Nicolaou, an events and decor specialist, function co-ordinator and owner of a catering company and function venue. Also the words of a man who hit rock bottom after becoming addicted to a drug known as crystal meth – a drug which not only changed his life, but took him on a path many have walked before. Luckily for him, he’s survived to share his story.
How grateful I am to Houghton House.
I will never be able to express it – 3 years ago I had given up hope on my sister. She was a shadow of her former self. She was lost – hollow, consumed by drugs and alcohol. I had given up on her. She had been to treatment centres before (3 to be precise) and Houghton House was her last chance at recover Close to death, fighting us every step of the way, she eventually made it through the gate and entered Houghton House.
She was in treatment for months. When she left primary and secondary treatment she came home but decided to move to the halfway house instead. I couldn’t believe she made a positive decision like that.
Letter from a Father Of Addict In Recovery
Dear Management of Houghton House,
I am the father of Toni B – an” addict in recovery”…
It is now almost 3 years that I faced the reality of my daughter’s addiction.
I cannot believe that I, and of course my daughter, have come from the depths of despair and hopelessness to where she is today. She has been clean for almost 3 years and is a different person. She has a wonderful relationship with her boyfriend, she has a solid job with great responsibilities and most importantly the two of us have a wonderful relationship. I have my daughter back – I have my life back.
Ritchie B’s Inspiring Recovery from Addiction Success Story
I grew up mostly around my grandmother since my parents were travelling around looking for the best job placement my dad could get. It wasn’t an ambiguously glamorous job, he was a welder for a gas company that had plants all over Southern Africa. My parents did what they could to provide for me and sometimes spoiled me with gifts none of the other kids parents could get them, since theirs weren’t in the city.
My gran was loving and I think I was her favourite grandson. Still, I couldn’t shake the jealousy I felt at seeing my cousins being around their parents whilst mine weren’t around.
An Addict In Recovery from Johannesburg
Hi, My name is Clinton and I am an addict. I live in Johannesburg but spent a large part of my teens in the beautiful city of Cape Town. I have a loving mother who brought me up as a single parent for most of my youth, although I had to learn a few life lessons on my own. I also have a lovely daughter and I love spending time with her more and more.
My journey of destruction started around standard five in primary school. It became obvious that I battled to relate with other kids my age. Which I blamed on my mother for moving to a new home and new school almost every year since I could remember. I started to dabble with smoking and drinking neat hard liquor on weekends.
Alcoholic/Addict’s Success Story
[intro]I grew up in middle class very happy farming family. In most respects it was an idyllic way for a young boy to grow up. I went to the best private schools in the area and because we were farming it meant attending boarding school from the age of 8. School went well – academically and in the sportsfield. There was little to complain about.[/intro]
I can’t actually remember my first drink. Alcohol was not a big issue in our family. I never saw my parents drunk or even a little tipsy. My first real experience with alcohol was the day I left school.
I had the unfortunate experience of being in class with older boys but I played sport with boys my age.
Cat and Meth Addict’s Success Story
[intro]Rapid, blinking, bright lights are blinding me. I am lying naked on the cold tiled bathroom floor. The left side of my body is completely numb, I smile at the numbness, I cry at the numbness. The cold tiles on my bare skin helps ease the anxiety… I start to feel a tingle through my left leg that rises to the left corner of my mouth. I didn’t die. I don’t know whether to smile or cry over this… I smirk, realising that I have more time, more powder and more chaos to embrace.[/intro]
I get up slowly and reach into my over sized and over used hand bag. My fingers pry for the decrepit cigarette box that has been lying in wait for the past 10 minutes.
Glynis H’s Success Story – An Alcoholic Getting Sober
Me? Alcoholic? Don’t be ridiculous! I don’t swear and shout and argue. Yes, I drink alcohol but only four percent wine. I’m not going to end up sleeping in the park. I’ve got a great life. I’m a good person. I have a lovely home and super family.
Well, I did. And I didn’t even know I was throwing it away. I drank every day and, yes, afternoon and evening. But it was only wine! My husband drank whiskey – much stronger. I went to bed by 9 every night – TV not worth watching, sons no longer at home, and husband watching sport. Weekends – great! Went a bit haywire sometimes but so did everyone else. What are parties for?
Derek M – Drug Addicts Success Story
I was born and bred in Boksburg and was always the ‘problem child’. I went to the local primary school and high schools followed by a remedial school – not because I was remedial… just lazy![/intro]
My dad was an accountant at a top mining house and he always put his work first. My mom is beautiful but has always been strict and religious. She is very against drinking, smoking and drugs. Growing up she never drank alcohol but my dad was at the pub every night, so drinking was very normal for me. In fact it is only in recovery that I have come to realise that my dad was probably an alcoholic.
A Bulimic Alcoholic Finds Recovery – Mary Anne C
These days I refer to myself as not only a ‘recovering alcoholic’, but also a ‘recovering Catholic’. That doesn’t mean I am not a spiritual person. Religion has always fascinated me but I am more spiritual.
As the middle of three children I can confirm that middle child syndrome does exist. I have an older brother and a younger sister. We were close to each other growing up but I was definitely the black sheep.
My dad was a strict Catholic and a difficult man. His attitude was that children are to be seen and not heard.
Success Story Of a Mother to a Recovering CAT Addict
In her book, Catastrophe, Oi Vey my child is gay (and an addict), Anne Lapedus Brest tells the story of how she discovers that her beautiful daughter is addicted to CAT, a highly addictive synthetic amphetamine.
These extracts from Catastrophe provide a glimpse into the devastation, triumph and healing Anne has faced in her journey as the mother of an addict.
They took her away in an unmarked police car and drove her away. She was calling wildly out of the window as they sped off.
‘Hurry, Mommy! Hurry!”
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Success Story
Zoleka Mandela has written an acclaimed memoir, When Hope Whispers, which tells her story of triumph in spite of overwhelming challenges, including a drug addiction, the death of a child and cancer. In her book she writes…
“To Houghton House Addiction Recovery Centre, my home away from home that treated me for my alcohol and drug addiction, thank you for providing me with a safe and supportive home in my time of complete desperation and self-loathing. I also want to thank you for saving my life; affording me that chance to at least give myself the best gift I could in staying clean and sober. Thank you once again for introducing me to all the friends in recovery I have met at Houghton House, and the Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous Fellowships.”
says Zoleka Mandela
Meth Drug Addict, Road To Recovery
I was the middle of three brothers growing up in a very protected upstanding Greek family. Our values were about family, love and protection. My dad was chairman of the Greek community and our family placed a lot of value on what the Greek community would say and think of us.
I had a good upbringing and a happy childhood but as I got older I found I wanted more. I felt a bit different but that suited me – I wanted to be different. My older brother was the clever, smart, high-achieving one, so I decided to do just the opposite in order to get attention.
Drugs and Alcohol Addict Recovery Story
I was born in 1984, the last of four siblings. I have two sisters and a brother. I wanted nothing when I was growing up as I had been blessed with a hard working family that gave me everything on a silver platter.
I attended some of the best schools in the country, including Michaelhouse, a private boarding school in KZN. When I was 9 years old we were struck by the tragedy of my father’s death. He had cancer and that most certainly had a tremendous impact on my life and later my actions in feeding my addiction as I discovered through therapy.
Drug Addiction Recovery Success Story
[intro]I enjoyed a pretty normal childhood, growing up in Johannesburg with my parents and two brothers. We were like any three boys. We fought and played and did what kids do. My parents loved us and I was a popular kid. Basically there was nothing to suggest that I was an up-and-coming drug addict who would spend over 14 years of my life inside treatment centres.[/intro]
At the age of 13 I started suffering from severe migraine headaches. Oral medication gave me no relief so my parents called out the family doctor, who would inject me with morphine or Pethidine. It all started very innocently.
Alcohol Addiction Recovery Story
They say that when you start using drugs or alcohol you stop maturing mentally. So I guess when I came into treatment I was a 122 kg 13-year-old who drank 20 drafts a day. I always knew that I had a drinking problem, but I kept thinking that I could manage it.[/intro]
My parents divorced when I was very young and my dad stayed in Johannesburg, while my brother and I moved around with my mom.
Things were pretty good but it wasn’t always easy. As a child I loved working out at gym or doing karate.
[intro]I guess that I had a relatively normal upbringing, and being born with a physical disability, I think I coped well in my early life. My parents got divorced when I was about twelve years old and we moved to Johannesburg from PE. I lived with my mom and I went into a primary school in Joburg, which I hated, because I would get teased relentlessly by some of the other kids. [/intro]
I thought that this was my cross to bear, and so I never told anyone about it. I thought that I could deal with all of life’s problems completely on my own. My false sense of independence – not being able to ask for help – would eventually lead me down the road of hopeless drug addiction.
Christina J. Drug Addiction Recovery Success Story
I grew up in a privileged home with loving but very controlling parents. When I was a young child my dad started his own business. He was a workaholic and wasn’t really around while we were growing up. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and everything had to be done her way. It was all about appearances and doing the right thing.
Christina J -My younger brother and I weren’t encouraged to express our emotions. What counted was going to the right schools, doing the right extra-mural activities and looking good.