The Priory Hospital Chelmsford recently welcomed back ex-patients as part of their annual addiction treatment reunion. The event looks to bring patients together to share their journeys in recovery, and to celebrate individual successes.
Ex-patients and their unique stories
We were delighted that Dave Barbour-Bourne and Paul Barnes were able to attend, two ex-patients who have been in recovery since their treatment 20 years ago. Dave is still actively involved with the Priory as a Peer Supporter where he shares his experience and knowledge about his recovery from Alcoholism with current inpatients on the addictions programme.
Whilst Dave and Paul's stories are unique, but often all too familiar to those struggling with an addiction or who have seen family members, colleagues or friends in need of help.
Dave admits trying to commit suicide on multiple occasions, and Paul experienced alcohol related pancreatitis three times before entering rehab.
At first both felt resistant to admitting their illness and engage with therapy, but with the support of others, being honest with themselves, and through ongoing therapy, both Dave and Paul have learnt effective coping strategies.
Dave's story: "I came to Priory courtesy of British Rail - I didn't work for them, mind you, but at my rock bottom I found myself on their rails. I was a binge drinker, I travelled a lot for business and all my business trips were drinking trips so I didn't need a drink between them. I would plan my drinking into the trip schedule; I can start in the airport lounge and then have some drinks at dinner, at the other end I won't need to drive... unfortunately, being a typical alcoholic, I didn't start then and instead started early at 7am."
Advice: "Addiction is a killer illness that doesn't take prisoners... if you want to become an old timer, if you don't drink, you won't die!"
Paul's story: "I marched on into my late 20s'. I started a new business and my things were alcohol and money. I had low self-worth and I went into a fantasy world... I never changed to take responsibility for my problems; instead I escaped into a bottle. I preferred fantasy to reality. By 40 I had lost everything, I went bankrupt and all I did was drink... in one instance I stayed sober for 30 days and I celebrated by having a drink!"
Advice: "As long as I put my focus on recovery my relationships, work and life commitments fall into place too."
Priory offers 12 months of free aftercare upon completion of its Addiction Therapy Programme because we are dedicated to the ongoing recovery of our service users. Our aftercare includes support groups, talks, advice, group or family sessions, and useful contacts, allowing patients to continue their recovery and sustain it.
For more details on the full range of Priory Services, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.