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My Journey to Recovery – (Service User)

Don't Give Up Giving Up

I was in complete denial about my drinking habits. My parents would ask, “Why do you drink so much, we never see you without a glass in your hand?” Friends would comment, “You enjoy your drink, don’t you?” My answer, “Why, I only drink the same as you, don’t I?!”

The speed with which I changed from being a fully functioning alcoholic, holding down a well-paid position, while at the same time starting my own company and successfully completing part of an Open University course, to finding myself on benefits was frightening.

I ended up spending five weeks in hospital due to losing my sight after drinking under the counter Scotch and was surprised to find my sister by my bedside, and even more surprised that she didn’t give me the expected lecture, but asked me to at least try and get better.

I was living at Lookahead Hostel at this time and when I came out of hospital, they arranged for me to attend a group. My recovery had begun! It has been a long journey for me and, I admit, a difficult one, through all the stages of the cycle of change many, many times, yes, I’ve had slips; yes, I’ve lapsed; yes, I’ve relapsed and even collapsed. With perseverance, I have finally found myself in long term maintenance, and now work with Turning Point supporting my peers.

It was through Turning Point that I finally realised what my triggers are and helped me to rewire my brain and changed my way of thinking, even to the extent of keeping sober when my partner of many years sadly passed away.

Many of my drinking partners asked me how I would enjoy life without drink, it wouldn’t be fun anymore. The answer was simple; I want to live, not just exist! I am not cured, for there is no cure! But I am now living, not just existing. Every day is a day of learning something new; every day is different, not just sitting with the same people in the same place, saying exactly the same thing day after day.

My biggest rewards? Easy, I have regained the trust and forgiveness of my family, and finally the forgiveness of myself. Don’t give up giving up.

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