HELENS ALCOHOL ADDICTION STORY
Helen was a resident at New Leaf Recovery a little over a year ago. Helen experienced some previous childhood traumatic experiences and as a result drank heavily on this for many years. She is currently 55 with two of her own children aged 26 and 19. Helen’s drinking started to effect more than one area of her life including; her life at home, family relationships and her work life. Breaking point for Helen was when her drinking resulted in losing her job, she was forced to go into treatment by her manager, but Helen wasn’t ready for treatment and didn’t want the help. This same incident happened twice. The phone rang at New Leaf when Helen had decided that enough was enough.
Helen was introduced to the unit on a quick admission as she wanted to be admitted immediately. This was arranged with the doctor who came in straight away for an assessment to assist with her detox and develop the regime best suited to her. She was then settled in after looking around the building. This was when her 28-day recovery programme started. Initially on her admission she raised concerns about having no religion and previously not getting on with AA meetings. Through attending her daily group meetings, she was assured that you do not need to have a religion to follow AA and that finding your higher power is much greater. Helen then found her higher-power and started to find the assignments set by her key worker much easier. She enjoyed the group environment and felt comfortable expressing her emotions as she was with like-minded people.
At first Helen was reluctant to take part in any alternative holistic therapies that we offer. These included; art therapy, reiki, tapping, acupuncture, movement therapy and more. After having discussion with her peers and trialling these groups she found them very beneficial and enjoyable. She had spiritual connection through reiki and tapping and found art therapy a good distraction for her thoughts.
The journey she went through at New Leaf saw changes in her emotionally, physically and mentally. Her emotions went from reluctant, introverted and angry to happy, positive, engaged and stable. Physically Helen was getting involved in all activities and after her first week detox she took advantage of going swimming on Wednesday and Saturday morning promoting her healthy lifestyle she was lacking when she was drinking. Mentally Helen had counselling to tackle her childhood traumas and negative thought patterns, providing her with a much clearer mind to identify her triggers and consequences. Also opening her up to spirituality.
Towards the end of Helens treatment, she sat down with her recovery worker and key worker to discuss an exit plan and coping strategies for the outside world. Helen was encouraged to come up with her own coping strategies to help tailor her exit plan for her needs. Helen wanted to attend two meetings a week, carrying on reading her daily readings and use meditation at home. She also signed herself up to do 12 sessions of aftercare and wanted to be quite strict with her attending twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the first two weeks and taper this off to one session a week on Thursdays. This was to make sure she maximised her contact with recovery in the first few weeks whilst she adjusted to her new life.
“My experience at New Leaf will be one I won’t forget. It has helped me get my life back on track and enabled me to have the life I always wanted. I have started working on getting my job back and have spent much time making amends with my loved ones and have built loving relationships with my children. It's nice to be able to give them the things I never had. I will continue to use the skills I gained at New Leaf to maintain my sobriety. The friends I met at New Leaf are ones I’ll never forget and people that I still stay in touch with to this day. They are people just like me and we all help each other to remain well beings, the power in recovery is much greater than me alone.”