Growing up, we went to good schools, knew right from wrong and had big dreams for our future. Having some fun during high school meant doing the normal teenager thing of some experimentation with both alcohol and drugs. I came through it all ok, my best friend developed an addiction to alcohol which she is has struggled with for nearly 15 years.
A year or two ago, she reached out for support from her family. As one of her closest friends, I was included in the support process. We all met together, her partner, mum, dad, her sisters and me. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a strategy that met my friends need sin both a practical and emotional way. Professional intervention was required. My friend was suffering from dual diagnosis. We sought information from Google. We were immediately overwhelmed with a barrage of treatment options and recovery support services to choose from. It was a minefield. We started reaching out for help and collecting information. We had to choose from primary care, detox, counselling, residential rehabilitation, outreach support, outpatient programs, online consultations and mental health services. Eventually we settled on a rehab at home program. We chose it because the program was evidence-based and affordable. It also allowed my friend to participate in a program while staying at home where she was supported by her family and her privacy was protected.
“Seeking support for my challenges related to the problematic use of alcohol was the hardest thing that I have done in my life. Naively, I thought that all I had to do was to stop my drinking and everything would be ok. What I didn’t realise was that stopping was the easy part, it was staying stopped which up until this point I had found impossible. In rehab, I learned that alcohol was a symptom of my problem and the solution to my underlying issues. Basically, I drank to make myself feel better. Sadly, it was now creating more problems than it was helping. It was time to have a good look at myself and begin to get ok with the woman in the mirror.”
My friend has now completed the program and found relief in a way which I can only describe as transformational. She is back to being a more confident and motivated individual, happy to participate in her life in a more meaningful way and she is enjoying reconnecting with the important people within her life. For the first time in a long time, the future looks bright. She is glad to be sober and describes the positive change she has achieved as amazing. It has offered her freedom, not just from the slavery of her addiction to alcohol but also the bondage of self she experienced which caused her so much grief, and fed the addictive behaviours.
Turns out freedom from addiction is possible!!