Life Goes Up and Down But I Found a Way to Confront it Better.
I was born in Washington, West Sussex, and then I moved to Eastbourne in East Sussex when I was 8 years old. I studied French at Queen Mary University of London and Westfield College in London. That was a 4-year Bachelor of Arts. That involved living in France and I chose to live in Paris.
I had a very good life, good upbringing. My parents were both teachers. I believe they were doing the best they could to give me the best opportunities in life, a safe, good environment, a good social education, good manners. I was well parented and well cared for. It was a happy life.
My experience with drugs began when I was 17, I was in my second year at college. I started going out with a guy at my school and he introduced me to a marihuana joint. When I look at that instance, I was quite well-behaved. I knew that I shouldn’t do it. My Mum said to me “marihuana is a gateway drug” and I said, “No, shut up, you don’t know about drugs”. I just ignored it. Had I listened to good advice, maybe I would have heeded it. But I rejected it. I would shrug it off. I was very reluctant to take advice. I wanted to do it my way and because of that for the next 10 months we drank, we moved in together and we both discovered LSD and ecstasy. I went to Australia and came back and he was into the rave scene. We did cocaine, LSD, speed, ecstasy. Marihuana was the gateway because it opens the world of people that take drugs. I’d already made the choice. I allowed myself to desensitize to drugs. I was more interested in partying and getting high.
Through my experience with drugs, I lost my health, and I ended up as a heroin addict, a methadone addict and an alcoholic. I became very estranged from my family. I gave up work, I lost my purpose in life, and it just became 24/7 addiction and it was a full-time job in itself. I lost interest in my life, I was trying to be happy. When you’re on drugs, everything is so overwhelming—you’re trying to run away from that and it comes back. Addiction takes over. I lost my car, I had to walk two hours every day to get to the methadone clinic. I was going shoplifting, dressing as a commuter, to steal alcohol every day. I distanced myself from my family, I didn’t communicate with them. I hid from them. It was a pretence to keep up appearances. I knew they were there for me. They were so anxious. For my Dad it was heart-breaking. He found me unconscious with blood on the floor so he took me to the hospital.
Going to Narconon was a suggestion from a friend of my Mum’s. I hadn’t really thought about rehab before. I agreed to talk to Narconon UK. They sent someone to Eastbourne and I worked with him for 6 weeks before coming.
When I got there, everyone was very friendly, not like an institution, the service I got from the Withdrawal specialist during the Withdrawal stage was superb. If I needed anything they would be there for me. What really helped me was the winding down programme. I liked the setup. Homely environment, nicer than to be in a hospital. I liked the people.
After going through the Narconon programme, I came out being able to run for 30 minutes continuously. I had my bodily health—a feeling of the physical nature of health. I have continued the healthy routines that I learned on the Narconon programme and now I go training most days, sometimes I run 5 km, and I have an 8 hour a day job. I get up at 4 in the morning and go to bed at 10 pm. I have enough energy to go to work and then go to the gym.
Another big gain I got from the Narconon programme is being self-aware—being aware of what makes me feel good and what makes me feel bad.
When I completed the Narconon programme, the ceremony was really lovely. It was a real graduation. It felt really special. I was very proud of myself and appreciative. I was very grateful to my parents for putting me in the right place. For me 12 steps didn’t work, I didn’t get it.
“I’m proud of the fact of giving my father peace that his daughter is ok. I’m proud that I’ve been able to give my family peace.”
I’m very proud of my Mum and sister they both said that they’re very proud of me and my Dad as well. He knew I could recover. I’m proud of the fact of giving my father peace that his daughter is ok. I’m proud that I’ve been able to give my family peace.
I’m looking forward to continuing to feel really good about life and about myself. Having had a 30-year history of addiction abuse, I am grateful for the life that I have and the body that I have. That is what Narconon has given me, the ability to be self-aware and to be aware of the world I love.
Now I get up and embrace the day, whatever is ahead of me I confront it, I don’t have so much stress, I wake up with energy. To be able to help another life, the possibility to recover it and get well again and share my knowledge is my purpose in life now. I love going to work, walking through the front door. I’m full of action at the age of 50 I’m not doing too bad. The sense of calm I can get by creating my space. Life goes up and down but I found a way to confront it better.
To those struggling with addiction now, you can make it to the other side. It is ok to be without drugs or alcohol in your life. The downward spiral is inevitable. I believe that Narconon is a programme of willingness. At the point of which you feel that you want to change, ask for help because I tried to do it on my own without expert advice, but it just went in circles, the addiction goes up and everything else goes down.
My advice for those early in recovery is to choose your friends wisely. Have good people around you. Give yourself time to be stable, don’t rush into a full-time job, and get married. Do it realistically. Be sure to be set up before you leave rehab, living arrangements, money arrangements, friends you can rely on. Bypass your drug friends, drug acquaintances, spaces you lived in, practices, as they are triggers.
Thank you to Narconon for everything that it’s helped me with.