Hello, my name is Craig and I am an addict. I am thirty-three years old and my sobriety date is the 18th May 2019, which makes me four years clean and sober!
When I first started drinking it was a good time, I used to save up my pocket money and go drinking at the park with my school friends. This led into going to pubs under age and that is when the drugs started coming into the picture. When I turned seventeen/eighteen I started using cocaine. I’m quite a quiet person, but when I had cocaine I felt like I was the strongest and the loudest in the pub. I did some very stupid and reckless things under the influence!
Over the course of the next few years I started to change who I was hanging around with. My original friends were starting to settle down so I gravitated towards hanging around with people who used and drank the same as me. I was going out every weekend with the new crowd, even these new friends would comment on how much I was drinking and why I wasn’t going home when the night finished. I was always looking for the after party. I was the sort of person who would help people look for things that they had lost, knowing that I was the one who had taken them in the first place. My behaviour had changed and I started doing things that I didn’t think I would ever want to do. The darkest days of my using were sitting in the van alone, using, with paranoia, not knowing what was wrong with me. I just couldn’t seem to stop using. Then there was the pain that I was causing to my family and not truly understanding what that meant to them. That voice in my head, the nagging that I “wasn’t good enough”, “keep using, at least I’ll die happy”, all lies but they wouldn’t stop coming – they just got louder.
My parents confronted me about my drinking and using and told me that they had found a place that could help me get sober. It was getting close to new year and I told my parents “new year, new me”, I still wasn’t sure if I really had a problem bad enough that meant going to rehab. I thought it was everyone else with the problem! Soon after that conversation I got drunk and was involve in a fight. I decided to go to the Recovery Lodge to keep my parents happy. I thought I would be fixed after those twenty-eight days, but it didn’t pan out that way.
When I came out of the Lodge, all was well, and I was working the programme that the lodge had introduced me to. After I celebrated one year sober I thought I was immune to using, I did the unthinkable and relapsed on cocaine. I managed to “get away” with it, or so I thought. Within a a few weeks of that relapse I was using again every day. I was involved in a car accident and this time I knew things had to change.
I went back to the Recovery Lodge, determined to do things differently. This time I was doing it for myself, not my family. But ultimately, that second time in treatment, I listened and did what was suggested. I really enjoyed the meditation and the acupuncture that was offered in the Lodge. Group sessions did make me nervous, but as the weeks progressed, I found that I lost that fear and I had really come to enjoy being part of the group. I valued my one-to-one sessions with my therapist, those times were very special to me, I cannot thank my therapist enough.
Without the Recovery Lodge, I would have never made it to where I am today. I have a job, I’m happily married, and am a productive member of society. That first time in treatment was by no means a waste, but once I finally understood what I suffered from and was willing to accept help from others, I have never looked back. Thank you Recovery Lodge!