John’s Story: Growing up, my main addiction issues were primarily drugs, particularly uppers such as cocaine, speed, ecstasy. As well as this, I had also been drinking and smoking weed/ hash from a young age. When the head shops opened around 2008/09, my using became completely out of control. The drugs that were sold in the shop were stronger and cheaper than anything I had come across before and the need to get high became an everyday thing.
I found myself unable to function without the drugs – I needed them for work, to go to town, to be around family and friends. In the end, I was completely powerless over using – the cravings became worse and the anxiety that I felt when I couldn’t get drugs made life miserable; the only thing that would take it away was more rugs.
One major reason I ended up in treatment was because I got caught selling drugs and had court cases pending. I was thrown out of home, told to resign from my job and had nowhere to go. My life had fallen apart so many times before that but I was not willing to accept or take responsibility for my actions. I was also not willing to accept that drugs were my problem. The denial around my using was very strong and I had the idea in my head that drugs were the solution to my problems rather than my problem. It was only after I got into treatment not before, that I accepted that I was an addict and that I could never use drugs successfully again.
I chose Fellowship House as it was suggested to me by my councillor in primary treatment. I knew that if I had gone back to where I was from I wouldn’t stay clean. I needed the extra treatment and time before I felt confident enough to go home. One of the most appealing things about Fellowship House was that I would have the evenings to myself to go to meetings or meet people for coffee, etc. also we got to go to the gym everyday as part of a course which was something I enjoyed doing.
I was in my first meeting and the identification I got inside the room blew away any denial I had about my addiction. I could identify with every speaker as if they were telling a part of my own story and that identification led to the start of admitting and accepting that I had a problem. Once I was able to do that I was shown a new way to live. The goals group was particularly beneficial as this allowed my peers in the group to point out potential areas that I needed to work on in my recovery and create goals on how this may be achieved.
For the first time in my life, I was able to picture a life without drink and drugs. I found out that I had a disease that I was not responsible for, but that I had a recovery that I was responsible for maintaining. The maintenance of my recovery is down to my own actions, keeping my thinking positive and doing the next right thing. I know today I have to live my life by the guidelines set out by the programme. Generally, when I do that I know that I will be OK.
My family were a constant support to me since I got clean and once I made the decision to get clean my whole family rallied around me. I found this to be very important as it showed me that I had something to stay clean for– that giving up drugs would not be all about loss and that I would actually be gaining the love and respect of my family.
My dad is a recovering addict so I found it useful to be able to go to him for advice on any issues I was having in recovery and he was able to share his experiences with me. With addiction, all my relationships had turned toxic. Today, my life is completely different – I have open and honest relationship with my friends and family, I don’t need to constantly lie about what is going on in my life and the weight of addiction has been lifted off my shoulders. After going through Fellowship House I realised the benefits of sharing what was going on for me and how it could help me.
Now, I will take all the help that is available to me and that process of asking for help began in Fellowship House. Today, my life is completely different to the life I had in addiction. After coming into recovery I was able to go back to university and complete a degree in Economics. Afterwards, I went on to complete a Masters in Economics and recently was awarded an academic scholarship to carry out doctoral research in the same discipline. Initially, I would not have gone back to college without the encouragement of my counsellor in Fellowship House.
At the beginning of recovery, I was told that I had to go on blind faith that things would work out. Today, that faith has been strengthened and I know that with the support of meetings, family, friends and a Higher Power I can have a life beyond my wildest dreams.
In recovery, I have been able to do all the things I always wanted to do but never could. When I was in Fellowship House, my counsellor told me that if I stayed clean I could do anything I wanted in my life and today that promise is being realised. I believe 100% that if I keep following the programme and doing what has been suggested, my life will continue to get better and the gifts of recovery will continue to be delivered a day at a time.
Fellowship House, provides additional residential aftercare treatment to support men in the recovery process. The aim of the programme at Fellowship House is to build on and consolidate the work of the recovery programme which has already begun in a residential addiction treatment centre.
The programme emphasises personal responsibility, peer support, lifestyle changes and participation in the Twelve Step Model. Throughout the 12-week residential treatment, men will use group therapy, one-to-one counselling, meditation and education to help them continue a healthy sobriety.
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If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction to Alcohol, Substances, Gambling or Food, get help today. We can help you recover in a healthy, friendly environment and beat your addiction. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our counselors today at +353 (21) 488 7110 or email us at Email Us and we can help you.