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.
My nickname in treatment was “Bones”.
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.
These two guys were drug users. I was in my forties and have never used “hard” drugs before. I had been a weed smoker for years. I decided to try some “hard” drugs just for some “fun” and to be part of the party scene. This was never their fault but totally my choice. One of the very many bad choices that I made whilst in active addiction!
This was not my first foray into the deep darkness of addiction. I had been sober for about 7 years, with my first stint into HH for an addiction to alcohol. I was successful in staying off the booze, but after the 3 step waltz (step1, 2 and 3) stopped working a 12 step programme and thought I was cured of my addiction problem.
Sadly, my later addiction to drugs taught me a very valuable lesson in that it has been so vital for me to work an active 12 step programe and it’s something that I will continue to do for the REST of my life.
My war stories and of what led me to seek help were pretty hectic and so damaging to my health, physically, mentally and spiritually I was bankrupt (as the saying goes in NA).
I was partying really hard, not sleeping much and not eating much either. I remember often thinking to myself, “I think I have a problem” but I didn’t want to admit that and was too busy having a “good time” to even think of stopping the drugs.
I started to lose important things in my life, family, friends, my job and my material things. My mind had gone over to the dark side. The people or so-called “friends” I allowed into my life were absolute trash – just like I had become!
I am appalled at how badly I had lost my morals and how my behavior had changed.
In recovery, I made a firm decision that I would do my level best to get off the drugs, change my life and turn things around.
Some good soul came to HH to share one night. Something he said I decided to use. He said that in his recovery he listened to all the “suggestions” without question. Suggestions from the Counsellors, his Sponsor and fellow recovering addicts. I followed his advice, for the most part, and still do today.
My recovery has been built on (what my photo depicts), thankful, grateful and blessed. The foundation of my recovery has most certainly been built on gratitude.
I am so grateful that I failed at three attempts at suicide. I am just so grateful to be alive. I am grateful to be off drugs and for some many things in my life now
What has really worked for me in recovery was that I worked hard in treatment. I did what I was told. The foundation of my recovery has been GRATITUDE and more gratitude.
I stayed at a halfway house for about ten months. This really worked for me. Being around fellow recovering addicts in a safe and secure environment paved the way for me to start living a normal life without drugs.
I then lived in a sober house for a year. Also a good move and again a safe and secure environment.
I then moved into a garden cottage on a friend’ s property which is where I still am. One more step closer to living a life on my own. I am still in the cottage and happy to be here.
I am also truly blessed to have found a really good sponsor right after treatment and he is still my sponsor. I have a massive debt of gratitude to him for all he has done for me. He was very strict in the beginning and I listened to ALL his suggestions. He was right in everything he suggested I do or not do.
I changed my phone number and deleted all my “bad” contacts. I also changed all my social profiles and blocked all unwanted people. Again the suggestion from my sponsor.
Life in recovery has not been all that easy.
I was unemployed and accepted a job with a family member. The job was very low paid and turned out to be really horrible. But I stuck it out for three years. I really needed a job and needed to somehow get back on my feet. Although I didn’t enjoy the job. I am grateful for the opportunity and it’s what got me back on my feet.
I really struggled with the fact that my two young son’s live overseas. I have missed them every single day since they left 10 years ago. Whilst in treatment, I managed to call my son’s overseas. I asked my youngest son if he still loved me. He said “No Matter What”. That is one of the turning points in my recovery. I cannot begin to express how much those three little words meant. My children had forgiven me and they supported me. This was a huge hurdle for me. My biggest fear was that my children would not speak to me again. I kept thinking “what kind of parent am I if I allowed myself to become addicted to drugs”. A strong part of my amends have been and will continue to be living amends. How different I am and the way I behave and treat people today compared to when in addictive addiction is something I think about all the time.
The journey continues I also received some rather terrible news, some two years ago. Something which I had to come to terms with. My strength for this most certainly came from my Higher Power. The relationship with my Higher Power, that has grown, albeit, slowly, over the last four years has been really helpful to my recovery.
One of the hardest things I have had to do is forgive myself.
Four years later and I am not there yet. I have come a long way in terms of forgiving myself. I am nearly there. For me this will take time.
I truly am living life beyond my wildest dreams. I have a dream job, my relationships are so much better. I see my children once a year and for the most part I am happy. Compared to my life as an addict, things are amazing.
I know that for the rest of my life, I will be a recovering addict. I will manage a programme, I know that I cannot ever again touch drugs or alcohol. Not that much to ask of myself when I consider how much better life is without.
To those of you that are battling with addiction. There is hope, have hope. Life does get better, just work at it.
Thank you, Houghton House, and my counsellor, for helping me and giving me such a great start on my journey of recovery.
The journey continues “No Matter What”.
For more information on dealing with alcohol or substance abuse and getting yourself into rehab to start a new life, call Houghton House now:
office hours: 011 787 9142
24/7 emergency help line: 079 770 7532