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Recovery Month 2021: In My Addiction, I Never Thought I’d See These Things

Recovery Month 2021 images

It’s National Recovery Month and we’re celebrating at Help Me Stop with a brand new website, where we will always cheer on our clients in their addiction recovery. We’re so proud of them and the steps they take to recover. Our role at Help Me Stop is to provide the most affordable and high quality addiction treatment, to equip our clients with the mindset and strategies to sustain long term recovery. You can read stories from Gideon, Toulou, Jessica, Mark, Joanna, Ben and many more on our blog page.

Help Me Stop Recovery Month Stories: from Addiction into Life

The theme for Recovery Month this year is recovery is for everyone: every person, every family, every community. To celebrate, we asked the team here at Help Me Stop to share a few of their proudest moments in recovery.

Sammy’s #RecoveryMonth moments: a ‘Rolls Royce’, a Washington wedding and four grandchildren

‘At the end of my addiction, it was bleak,’ Sammy says. ‘I felt hopeless and I really couldn’t see anything changing. I had no concept of recovery, partly because I’d never met anyone in recovery. I just felt absolutely beaten and dark. I didn’t think at that point my life could ever change.’

Sammy’s recovery date: 26th July 1998

‘It was like driving a Rolls Royce!’

  • ‘At one year sober, I learned to drive and bought my first car for £250, a Ford Sierra. It had no power steering but it felt absolutely amazing. It was like driving a Rolls Royce!’
  • ‘I got married in a church library in Washington State at two years’ sober. My wife had some friends out there, so we thought let’s get married in America. The minister was in recovery, which was a lovely coincidence. She even offered to do the Serenity Prayer at the end of our wedding service.’
  • ‘At eight years’ sober, I set up an arts charity to help people in addiction, gaining funding and putting on many art exhibitions and live gigs in Suffolk.’
  • ‘At 19 years’ sober, my first grandchild came along. In my addiction, I never dreamed I’d be meeting my first grandchild one day. Today, at 23 years’ sober, my fourth grandchild is on the way.’

‘I never dreamed I’d be meeting my first grandchild.’

Jack’s #RecoveryMonth moments: hugs, paella and a beautiful bunch of keys

‘At the end of my addiction, I wasn’t living,’ Jack says. ‘I was existing in a broken shell of myself. I hid away in black baggy shapeless tracksuits, stopped eating, stopped taking care of myself. I crashed through days that rolled into each other in a cycle of self hatred, isolation and loneliness. I didn’t care if I lived or died and I didn’t think anyone else would either. I had no value on myself as a human being, as a friend, as a parent. I pushed everyone away from me because I told myself that I was ‘a piece of shit and everyone would be better off without you.’ I became paranoid, angry and permanently suicidal.’

Jack’s recovery date: 22nd March 2021

‘I’ve been able to walk into a room full of strangers, introduce myself and even hug people.’

  • ‘When I first came into recovery I was almost feral around other human beings; when someone tried to hug me I would physically lash out to put a distance between us because I was so frightened of intimacy and vulnerability.’
  • ‘I have a bunch of keys! In the worst depths of my drinking, I wore my front door key on a piece of string around my neck and had several spares because I was always losing them. At two weeks’ sober, I trusted myself to put it on an AA key ring, where it was soon joined by keys to a friend’s house. Then a family member gave me a set of keys to his house and now I have keys to my work office, a fellowship meeting and another friend’s place. It sounds mad that this is something to be proud of but for me it demonstrates going from unmanageability to manageability. I am trusted. There’s no clearer illustration of that in my life than a single key on a tatty piece of string, to carrying a bunch of 21 keys in my bag – and not losing them!’
  • ‘I had a dinner party for my peers in rehab as we all struggled a bit with weekends initially. I rented an apartment and cooked a massive paella for a dozen of us. I told everyone to bring a bottle of something non-alcoholic, so we could get to know each other a bit outside of talking about our feelings and traumas. It was a loud, raucous, fun-filled evening that went on into the late hours. Everyone had a great time and lifelong friendships were formed around that table, all without any alcohol or mind altering substances.’

‘I cooked a massive paella. Lifelong friendships were formed around that table.’

Chris’s #RecoveryMonth moments: standing tall as a father, son, husband, brother, professional and World Service delegate

‘My final years in active addiction can only be described as pitiful, incomprehensible demoralisation,’ Chris says. ‘I was 37 years old and had lost everything; my career, finances, mental and physical health were in tatters. I was physically dependent on alcohol, drinking a litre of cheap (stolen) vodka a day, using a variety of illicit substances whenever I could get my hands on them and was getting arrested on a regular basis for petty crimes. I was alone, hopeless and isolated.’

Chris’s recovery date: 2nd August 2010

‘I am able to be present as a father and a stepfather.’

  • ‘I have been given an opportunity to become a son, a father and a brother, to stand up and become an accountable and productive member of society.’
  • ‘I have been married for four years, have a son and have built a wonderful relationship with my adult daughter. I am able to be present as a father and as a stepfather to my wife’s children.’
  • ‘I serve as a World Service delegate for a 12 Step fellowship, attending annual conferences in the US.’
  • ‘I now work with addicts every day, helping them and their families to find their way into recovery.’

‘I now work with addicts every day, helping them and their families.’

Charlotte’s #RecoveryMonth moments: the wonder of the Taj Mahal, my bright daughter and honouring my dear dad

‘The three years at the end of my drinking were the worst. I kept trying to stop by myself but I couldn’t stay stopped,’ Charlotte says. ‘In the weeks before going into treatment, I remember a time driving back from my Mum’s house to my flat. That journey should have only taken an hour. I had to stop the car dozens of times to be sick. It took me most of the day to get home.’

Charlotte’s recovery date: 4th April 2007

‘At four years’ sober, I stood in front of the Taj Mahal.’

  • ‘In recovery, I’ve experienced so much life and colour and wonder. At four years’ sober, I stood in front of the Taj Mahal and watched that incredible mausoleum change colour throughout the day: from pink at sunrise to shimmering white at midday to burnt orange at sundown.’
  • ‘At ten years’ sober, I had my beautiful daughter, the greatest gift of my recovery.’
  • ‘At twelve years’ sober, I read out a poem and speech I’d written at my father’s funeral. That day, I knew how proud he was of me.’

‘I had my beautiful daughter, the greatest gift of my recovery.’

At Help Me Stop, we’re proud to provide affordable, flexible and effective addiction treatment in our London Dayhabs and our Digital Dayhab. Please contact us in complete confidence if you’re struggling with addiction and you want change. There is a new way of life available to you. Call 0208 191 9191 today or contact us via email, live chat or form.

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