Mark has suffered with alcohol misuse for over 20 years. He is now 18 months abstinent and is looking forward to rebuilding relationships with his family and friends in particular becoming a proper Dad. From leaving school and starting work alcohol has been part of Mark’s life and despite warnings from family and friends Mark continued drinking. Whilst working Mark will admit most of his money was spent on drink. Over the years Mark has been through detox but soon found himself drinking again. However 18 months abstinent he is confident this will not happen this time.
Through his work with his one to one key worker and workshops he is finally getting himself back on track. His family have been fantastic in helping Mark get the help and support he so badly needed and to begin with came along to ADS with him.
Mark admits it’s not been easy and he has made real changes to every aspect of his life including moving away from a group of friends who regularly drank.
Mark is now a Peer Mentor at ADS and helps other new clients settle in when they first access the service. Mark can remember how nervous he was when he first came to ADS, so seeing a friendly face in the waiting room is so important, and Mark does exactly that!
Michael married young but the relationship ended bitterly after 8 years together. In 1975 he was to meet the true love of his life Cath who in fell in love instantly with as soon as he saw her. He was soon married living with her and her 14 year old son. For many years Michael found himself away from home as he was a lorry driver but they had a good life and he did not want or need anyone else they had a lovely life. When Cath had a bout of bad health in the 80s Michael decided he needed to be around more and for a few years they ran a supermarket together then a pub and then eventually social club – in Michael’s words life was good.
However Cath was unwell again and they decided that the club was too much and that Michael should go back to lorry driving. However Cath’s health was to deteriorate further then in 2008 she passed away and Michael’s world fell apart. For decades they had done absolutely everything together and he felt totally and utterly alone and bereft without Cath. As the loneliness and sadness deepened Michael turned to drink and a pattern of drinking whiskey every single day began to take its tole. He knew it was not the solution but it got the day out of the way. He would take the dogs out and pick up his bottle of whiskey and drink the bottle for the rest of the day. He neglected the house and himself.
He got called to the Dr for a routine check but was called back and was asked to see the nurse who turned out to be a good friend of his late wife Cath. She told him he was drinking far too much and asked did he want any help and told him about ADS who at the time would be in the surgery once a week. Michael knew he needed help and started to see an ADS worker once a week things started to look a little different for Michael. His worker talked things through with him and gave him alternatives rather than simply hitting the bottle. He can remember on the anniversary of Cath’s death thinking he would be well within his rights to go out and get drunk however after talking with his ADS worker she talked about other ways he could celebrate Cath’s life.
After several sessions with his ADS worker she introduced him to the Recovery programme and he has just completed this. It has made a massive difference to his life and that is thanks to the patience of the workers and the peer support from others on the programme. He feels confident now he can go forward without drink being part of his life – he has lost weight and feels brighter about the future.
Roger has drank most of his life, but for too long he never really thought he had a problem. A qualified engineer drinking was part of the culture – after work, weekends this was the norm. However years of drinking to excess began to catch up with him and over the last decade Roger acknowledged there were a few health signs which he chose to ignore. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes but this was something he never really associated with his excessive drinking.
The real problems started in 2008 after a very boozy Christmas in which Roger admits he drank excessively and was admitted to Warrington General Hospital. Following routine blood tests in hospital he went through a detox and was put in contact with ADS. Roger attended some one to one sessions and for a number of months did not drink. Unfortunately following a routine cataract operation which did not go well Roger started drinking again. Still attending ADS for support but drinking at the same time Roger found himself admitted to hospital again.
Roger was discharged from hospital and was doing well until Christmas arrived, and with time on his hands he began drinking once more. However prior to going into hospital he finally admitted to family and friends that he had a problem with alcohol. In total he spent 2 weeks in hospital followed by 2 weeks at home before returning to work.
He once again started to attend ADS, he was allocated a new key worker and became involved in the Recovery Service at ADS Warrington. Roger found the service “tremendous”, it provided him with the tools he needed to sustain his recovery.
Roger now feels that through ADS and his one to one support he has finally turned the corner and put drinking behind him. He knows for him that he cannot have just “one drink” as this will soon escalate, so abstinence is his path.
Drink had always really been part of Dianne’s life however over the years it had really taken hold of her and last year she found herself homeless and on the streets with a serious drink problem. For many years she had a job, family and a home and whilst she knew she probably drank too much for long time she managed her drinking herself and did not seek out any help. When a family tragedy struck her drinking really spiralled out of control drinking up to 3 bottles of vodka a day work fell way by the way side and the bills mounted up and she eventually lost her home. Dianne tried rehab but it did not work out and she found herself living on the streets miles from her family. She knew that she could not carry on so she called her father who arranged for her to stay with her Aunty whilst she tried to get her life back together.
In March this year she came to ADS Bridge House and whilst she was petrified what the future might hold she has begun to rebuild her life. Dianne no longer wants a drink and through one to one support and group work she is seeing her confidence return. She goes to the gym reads a lot and listens and learns from other residents at Bridge House. She praises the encouragement she gets from staff and the commitment and warmth of all the team.
“Bridge House has given me a safe environment where I have been able to come to terms with issues which have bothered me and affected me throughout my life. I feel I have been given a new lease of life and rediscovered myself and I have the staff and residents here at Bridge to thank for that.”
Richy classes himself as lucky.
After 30 years of drinking, Richy was immobile and malnourished. He lived alone and was in financial difficulty. He was drinking 3 bottles or more of red wine a day. He was then made redundant which led him to drink even more to get through the boredom of unemployment. Richy knew he needed help.
Through desperation he visited a doctor who told him the shattering news that if he carried on drinking he would only have 3 weeks to live. This was the shocking news that Richy needed to hear to get himself to seek help.
Social Services and the Substance Misuse Service team were called and they suggested Richy needed to detox. Richy started a 21 day detox at Harvey House. Unfortunately this type of treatment didn’t work for Richy and he was still drinking when left alone.
Luckily for Richy he secured a place at ADS Bridge House Residential.
Richy says this changed his life completely. He started attending all the daily group workshops and had one to one sessions with an alcohol worker at least once a week. Richy says the service at Bridge House is excellent as it caters to individual needs. He is able with guidance and advice to choose which groups he feels are best suited to his recovery. Richy also mentions how extremely valuable the peer support is.
Richy found it particularly hard spending Christmas and New Year in Bridge House, but it made him look back on previous years and what he had missed and how drinking had played its part. He mentions that there are many Christmas he can’t remember but that he can now look forward to remembering the ones to come.
Richy knows that the real hard work starts now as he is ready to return home, With his self esteem increasing everyday, much improved mobility and along with the strength and support from Bridge house and the residents he knows he is stronger than his addiction.
Richy is going home in 3 weeks time but will still be attending the ex residents group workshops and attending one to one sessions. Richy finds it comforting to know that he can call any time if he needs support and guidance.
Richy’s future is bright, he has bought a camera and enrolled onto a photography course aswell as an ECDL IT course.
Alcohol had been part of Sally’s life since an early age. She married young after becoming pregnant ,however ,the relationship broke down as her husband drank heavily and was physically abusive. She remarried some years later and trained to be a nurse and for many years held down a full time job whilst bringing up a young family. Her drinking continued throughout her 30s and she knew she was drinking too much. Eventually her marriage broke down. However she met her next husband and she gave up drinking for 7.5 years. It was hard but her sheer determination and will-power ensured she did not touch a drop.
However last October tragedy struck and sadly her husband past away and she started drinking excessively. Work stopped and absolutely nothing mattered to Sally as she drank in excess of 2 bottles of vodka every day. One day her daughter found her unconscious on the kitchen floor. As a qualified nurse she managed to revive her Mum and call an ambulance and get her admitted to hospital. Initially she was admitted to a medical ward but then to a psychiatric ward. She was eventually discharged and a psychiatric community nurse suggested she contact ADS. However this was not to be at this time and soon Sally was drinking heavily again and she was readmitted to hospital.
Following this second stint in hospital reluctantly Sally attended ADS Bridge House for an assessment. She was extremely reluctant as she did not want to leave her home but deep down she knew she needed help. Sally entered Bridge House in May. She says “I owe my life to the support and dedicated team at Bridge House.”
Sally is determined to stick with her recovery and get her life back. The one to one support she has received has given her the opportunity to deal with feelings of anger, loneliness and issues she had carried around with her for a very long time. Her worker in her words has been “marvellous” and she has found it easy to open up and be honest and deal with the issues which she had buried for so long. Bridge House has given Sally the space and time she needs. She has benefited from the group work and she has felt able to be open and honest when previously she had been very guarded. She now knows with the support of the staff at Bridge House and her family she will make a full recovery. She has already regained her dignity and pride and in the future she wants to use her experience to help others.