“ESH saved my life. I was a broken man on the verge of losing everything; my life, my health, my family, my career. - I had no way out and I didn’t know where to go for help”
I knew I had a drink problem but I didn’t understand that I was an alcoholic. I now know that I was a functioning alcoholic who maintained good job and a normal life on a day-to-day basis. Towards the end of my drinking, however, my physical and well mental well-being went downhill very rapidly.
I was convinced by my loving wife and family to go to for help. I was in no way fit to make a rational decisions for myself. A visit to ESH allow me meet Paul and Sue and make the decision to become a resident. The visit helped me to understand the set-up and surroundings. When the actual time to start my residency came I was filled with trepidation and fear however the feelings of safety, warmth and caring soon took over within minutes of arrival.
The team at ESH were all recovering alcoholics, who had many years sobriety, and hence had been through the journey. They had the strength, knowledge and first-hand experience to be able to understand my predicament and knew how to delicately kick start my recovery journey. I couldn’t have done it on my own. The whole team put their heart and soul into my individual recovery as they did all residents. They found a perfect balance between therapy, 1-2-1 time and recreation activities to make every day complete and beneficial.
The initial detox was one of my largest fears prior to arrival. I had attempted an un-mediated home self-detox once. The memories of this were creating my fears. The ESH detox, for me, was the opposite of this experience. The days of the chemical detox are a bit of a blur but the sense of personal relief and the camaraderie of the team and the other residents was immense.
In my mind I wanted the “express treatment” with a “life reset button”, not the 28 days recommended residency. Now that my clouded vision has been lifted I have realised that anything less than the 28 days may have eliminated the physical dependence to alcohol but the true mental and spiritual healing would not have begun. The ESH recovery programme started to build the foundations of the 12 Step programme and the AA way of life for me. I have an inner calmness now and have removed the feelings on which I drank. Crucially, I have acceptance and have been equipped with the tools to deal with life on life’s terms.
The days at ESH were nicely structured by caring individuals. The group therapy sessions and CBT were fantastic. They allowed us to share experiences, gain a better understanding of our illness and fundamentally make us realise that we’re not alone. The sessions enabled me to slowly but surely gain an understanding of the 12 step programme & the AA family, both of which are now a daily part of my life. I have now come to realise attending AA meeting whilst at ESH is fundamental to my recovery. The 1-2-1s were crucial personal sessions tailored to our own needs, questions and concerns. They help me to think about things in alternative ways,again excellent foundations for life now. Giving the brain a rest - the walks, time at the gym and general leisure time was crucial in generating a complete recovery experience.
I’m so so fortunate. Today I have been given the opportunity to rebuild my life. I still have my health, wife, family, friends & career. I’m back enjoying playing sports, having family time and generally loving life. I no longer live isolated in my own mind and at the mercy of alcohol. I do not, however, take any day of recovery for granted. My mind must remain focused but now in a state of serenity.
ESH has given me a second chance at life and for that I’m truly indebted. All the ESH staff place their heart & soul into their residents recovery and wellbeing. A true life changer.