In denial about my addiction

In my mind, I wasn’t an alcoholic and I wasn’t an addict. Although I drank alcohol everyday and used drugs everyday, I wasn’t ‘addicted’. Despite being admitted to hospital for withdrawing, I wasn’t an alcoholic. Even though I stole and lied to feed my habit of drugs and alcohol, at 23 years old, I couldn’t be an alcoholic or an addict could I?

I reluctantly went to Priory Hospital Altrincham after my manager said I wasn’t welcome at work until I had got some help. To them, I was an alcoholic and an addict. I entered Priory with the comfort of telling myself I would drink and use again when I left.

Everything changed when I started therapy

However, everything changed when I started my therapy. The daily sessions I completed showed me what I had lost to my addiction, including what others had lost due to my actions. I had originally laughed at the thought of ‘restoring my sanity’ by 12 steps – that sounded insane to me. Full of doubt and suspicion I struggled to admit that the therapist could be right and there was a solution – but I persevered with their support.

However, it was Priory’s aftercare programme that finally made me admit I needed to take responsibility for the hurt I had caused. Attendees were those who had completed the 28-day programme, had remained sober, but were still willingly to return. I couldn’t believe that these people who had been where I was, looked happy and peaceful. I then became willing to believe that there was a solution to my problem. My problem being addiction. I am an alcoholic and I am an addict, and I never thought I would be able say that.

Recovery is possible

I was shown kindness and care whilst at Priory, by the nursing staff on the ward, the therapy team on the programme, and past and current clients. They were patient and tolerant with me as I tried to discover feelings and thoughts that I had spent years blocking out with drugs and alcohol. They showed me the light and walked slowly with me towards it. They carefully helped me knock down an emotional wall I had built up so high over the years, taking it down brick by brick. The addiction treatment team supported and continue to support me in my recovery, good and bad. I am grateful to be an addict in recovery. I am truly grateful to Priory for saving my life and showing me that recovery is possible.

Today, I am grateful.

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