I arrived at Pierpoint on the 1st of December 2010. To say I was in a desperate state is an understatement. After 22 years of active addiction to class A substances I was at the end of the line. I weighed just under 7 ½ stone, my family had disowned me, I was homeless, unemployable and had lost all hope of ever finding a solution to my addictions, and I had spent many years searching for that solution.
My life did not start out this way – I was loved at home, given a wonderful education and had a wonderful career as a direct result of that love, support and education. I was a man who felt in control of his life in every respect, all that is bar my addiction to drugs. I first picked up aged 13…the usual story…Cannabis swiftly followed by LSD and Ecstasy before trying cocaine aged 16 or 17 and that was it, I was in love. Even at that early age the consequences were there for all to see, but I thought I was in control nonetheless. I was expelled from school, I was high as kite when my father died when I was 18, high as a kite when my daughter was born the same year but still I thought I did not have a problem, that somehow I would ‘sort it out’. And that’s how it was for many years. I worked, I used, I thought I was god’s gift to life and that I would always bounce back from whatever scrape I was in. The losses began when I was 26 – fired from a well paid job, relationship breakdowns, financial loss of huge proportions and no acceptance that it was my responsibility. By the time I was 28 I was using crack and heroin and by the time I was 30 I had lost the home that was bought outright when I was 25, I had lost contact with my daughter and I was on a one way ticket to hell that I did not know how to stop. I believed that I should be able to stop too, and that just made it worse…I began to hate myself with a passion and, when, after a visit to Detox 5 and two stays in a 6 week rehab in Spain I still couldn’t stop, I believed I was destined to die using, that I was a hopeless case.
In 2010 I created such hell for my family – manipulating huge amount of money from my brother and mother, ransacking my mother’s house over a two week period when she was away, my brother gave me one last chance to address my problems. I googled rehabs on-line searching under the criteria ‘strict 12 step rehab’. At the top of that list was Pierpoint.
When I arrived that day I was terrified…terrified off living, terrified of dying and terrified of getting sober. This is difficult to put into words for my gratitude for and towards Pierpoint and all of her wonderful staff and therapy team is absolute, but I will try….
I was detoxed off the methadone & diazepam over a 19 day period and whilst I will never say it was the happiest experience of my life I was made to feel comfortable, loved and supported by the staff, therapists and by the other peers in the rehab with me.
Only required to stay for 4 weeks I realised that the peers in front of me who had been there for 6,7,8 weeks and beyond were glowing – they were happy, confident, self-assured and I knew I wanted some of that for myself. I was a broken man, I needed fixing and I did not know how to do that for myself and it was the same for us all when we walked through the doors of Pierpoint House.
So I stayed, I stayed for 14 weeks of Primary treatment where I was therapeutically asked to face the consequences of my addiction head, to look at what I was doing to the people who loved and how my actions directly impacted on them. It was hard but it made sense – I needed to begin to learn to take responsibility for myself and my behaviour and as that process began and went on I began to feel like a man again, I began to believe that my feelings wouldn’t kill me and that I could be responsible and honest – things that for many years seemed so far out of reach I believed I was simply a bad person, not cut out for this society or this life.
In secondary treatment I embarked on some of the hardest work I have ever done – examining all the damage I had done to myself throughout my using and looking at the parts of me I thought I never could. I always believed I was emotionally crippled – I could never end relationships, I could never cry about or acknowledge the fact my father had died and I had become a person that chose to be cold and detached in all situations believing I was simply ill equipped to deal with life. It was a dark and lonely place to be, but it was all I knew how to do to survive.
The therapists at secondary treatment enabled me to begin to look at those feelings I had long since turned my back on and slowly, over a period of 13 weeks I began to grieve for my father in a safe environment where I would not use drugs to quash the pain, I began to look at my conduct in relationships and see where my own actions led to isolation, I began to look again at my relationship with my daughter who I had not seen for 3 years at that point in time and I began to rebuild genuine relationships with my mother and brother, not based on what I could get from them to feed my addiction, not based on them supporting me because I ‘could not cope with life’ but based on the fact I was becoming a trustworthy, loving and responsible son and brother again.
I have, since leaving treatment, seen Chloe, my daughter, on several occasions and we now have a relationship I could only dream about. I have real self -esteem based on how I live my life today, I work full time with people and in situations I would of have to used through in the past and therefore ultimately destroyed through my inability to cope. I have my own flat where I pay the bills, I don’t owe any rent, I have learnt how to live with the money I have to live on (which isn’t much!). I could never do these things before.
Lastly but by no means least I have friends, real genuine friends who support me in my recovery and I in turn support them. The only friends I had in active addiction were people I could get things from or who could get things from me.
I have everything I could of wished and so much more and I only left treatment 7 months ago.
To say what Pierpoint did for me is nothing short of miraculous is an understatement.
If you can identify with anything I have said in here, if you have come to that place where the drugs aren’t working and the alternatives don’t look pretty then with all my heart I urge you to give Pierpoint a go – it won’t easy but it is so much easier than one day of the living hell I ended up in out there using, and the results of your treatment and the outcomes for you and all those in your life will blow your mind…….
I am 50 years old and never thought I’d be totally abstinent from drink and drugs because even though I had used crack and heroin for 23 years, I always believed I could drink successfully and did not understand the concept of addiction. I have 3 daughters aged 29, 28 and 21, the two eldest being 5 and 6 when I started using drugs and when the youngest was born I could not stop using my drugs intravenously as the compulsion and obsession far outweighed the fact I was carrying a baby.
The house was constantly getting busted by the drug squad, which my children saw, they saw me overdose and in the end I was selling myself to fund my addiction. Although my children never got took into care, my middle daughter went to live with my mum when she was 8 and my eldest daughter left home at 16.
Throughout these years I was sectioned, I did numerous hospital detox’s and I tried desperately to stop using. After each detox I would relapse because the obsession to use was stronger than the will to live and I would hate myself all the more because I thought I was weak willed, useless and hopeless. I was scared of life because I couldnt function on the normal level that I saw everybody else on. In the last few years I was in and out of hospital with abscesses, my weight went down to 8 stone, my hair was falling out, my teeth were rotting and my body was drowning in my own fluids through the drink, but I had to drink to stop the shaking so I could get the needle in my arm.
I had a couple of months to live when I finally got to Pierpoint House. I was desperate and I was dying. My family were in anguish because they were watching me die.
As soon as I walked through the doors I knew I was in the right place… the therapists believed in me, my peers believed in me and the support staff believed in me, which gave me the strength and faith to begin to believe in myself.
I found facing up to what I’d done and what I’d put my family through extremely difficult but knew if I left I would die. I spent 15 weeks in primary looking at the damage I had caused to my family and learnt so much about the concept of addiction and the solution that it gave me the determination to go on to secondary where I spent 14 weeks and learnt so much about myself and begin to believe that I am not the useless, worthless and hopeless person my addiction wanted me to believe I was. I learnt I AM WORTH IT.
Now I am in after care, I am 12 moths clean and sober, I love life and relish every minute of it. I am back in college chasing my dreams and making them come true. I have my self-respect back and most importantly I have my family back in my life and they love me and are proud of me. you can have this too, because like me, YOU ARE WORTH IT.
It is my yearly mail to thank everyone at Pierpoint for all the help you gave me during my time with you – six years ago today – you saved my life and I am now sober since the day I arrived there. I am not sure who is still there but thanks to the support workers and the medical staff whom without I would not be with my children.
If you want help for your addiction like our graduates, contact us today.
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