Working on recovery is a permanent assignment


Anonymous testimony

I used to be a "normal social" drinker like a lot of others. Had no particular problems with it.

 Then years ago, when some difficult moments came up in my life, I started using alcohol excessively. I thought this use could provide a solution or help. Not so, and besides, all this did considerable damage to the relationship with my loved ones and family. Together with them, we overcame this but it remained a sensitive issue that received ongoing attention. I was very motivated and drank no alcohol at all for many years.

Then came a very dark period when my dear partner and mother of our children was diagnosed with cancer. After suffering intensely, she passed away. Our world stood still. Meanwhile, my and the whole world was under the spell of the coronavirus. Feelings of tremendous anger, sadness, resentment, misunderstanding, helplessness, being distraught, loneliness and isolation dominated. The booze devil convinced me that drinking would help me ease my negative feelings and pain and thus ease my dark lonely life. However, it was an illusion because after a while, things got worse mentally and physically. My children and surroundings also experienced this. I realised myself that I was doing wrong and made good resolutions to stop drinking. However, there were always reasons and excuses to postpone those resolutions and put them away for a while. Lying to myself and others. A conflict eventually provided a firm but necessary wake-up call. I realised that I could not solve my problem on my own. An urgent solid approach was needed, first and foremost for myself but also for my children and surroundings. I had a lot to lose and had gained nothing by drinking.

 It was very difficult dilemma . On the one hand recognising that you have a problem that you cannot solve yourself and that others have to help, my guilt and shame, still in the midst of a heavy grieving process. On the other, the conviction that I myself wanted a solution and was willing to do so. Thought deeply, talked about it with family - GP - psychologist, had an informal but good intake interview at Affect2U. Let everything sink in, considered "pros and cons",... After a few days and sleepless nights, my decision was made: I am going to Affect 2U. From then on, I felt more relieved and also my children, immediate environment were 100% behind my decision and satisfied. It had to be my own decision and not just to please them.

The admission was a leap in the dark for me and I did not know what was in store for me. Of course, I had 2 main expectations: to work on recovery from addiction and to help me process grief. It was a very intensive period and not a holiday. I was " often in my bare skin" both in the individual and group sessions. You have to expose yourself, be open to it and believe in it because otherwise you cannot be helped. This was often confrontational. Evolving from denial, minimising, rationalising, self-pity,... to admitting, surrendering, acknowledging your powerlessness, learning to deal with the guilt, understanding certain things better... was a difficult process that took some time. Difficult assignments (including writing down emotions,...) helped me a lot. I left my initial resistance behind quite quickly. Looking back, it was a very interesting period together with a mix of very different people but with a lot in common, I learned a lot about myself both my strengths and my weaknesses. The children were involved in family discussions and could also go there with their problems, expectations and feelings. Very purifying and beneficial but often painful.

After admission, returning home with an extra suitcase of luggage, motivation and good advice but also caution. After all, working on recovery is an ongoing task. I found myself much better, stronger and positively changed. My children and surroundings also clearly saw that a better person had returned home. A lot of people ( even without prior knowledge) saw a positive change and expressed this. Very motivating because an objective comment is always better than one's own assessment. People in the know thought my decision was right but above all courageous, I have not had any negative comments about my admission yet.

I have since had a few more conversations with my counsellor V.B. ( in Chiro terms, this abbreviation means " adult counsellor" which is quite appropriate in this context) and some more emails. I know I can still contact them if needed. My children have also still been contacted.

 Now several months later, I am still doing well. No more alcohol and much more positive, hopeful in life, eager to do things. I am also coping better with the fairly recent loss of my partner, I can give grief and feelings about this a place. Looking back on my bad period , a lot has changed. Being sober is not just about stopping using but it is much more: I have also changed as a person in various areas.

Recovery is also a verb. You have to pay constant attention to it and work on it - together with others. Affect2U has not been able to give me a guarantee of "never using again" but it has given me a lot of tools to make this happen. 

I am now generally quite content in life. Of course, there are still difficult days and moments, there are still problems, living alone is not always obvious,... I do cope much better now than I used to. Day by day! I have regained and recovered a lot.

After reading this article, if you have any questions about a residential admission Do not hesitate to contact us via email or call: +32 (0) 480 67 40 18.

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