Brendan’s Story of Drug and Alcohol Addiction to Recovery
Brendan is coming up to 2 years clean and sober after completing 29 days of residential addiction treatment. He shares his story.
I was successful in my career and my personal life, at least that’s what I thought I was. It all came crashing down when I became addicted to meth and I lost everything. It took many years of trying and failing to get clean and sober and off drugs before I was forced to get help or lose my life. I completed the 29-day residential addiction treatment at Hader Clinic Queensland, and 20 months later with no alcohol or no drugs, my life is better than ever.
I had a pretty normal childhood, but I was getting into trouble a lot, even with the law. In the beginning, I played rugby which had a massive drinking culture and so I was drinking a lot on the weekends, but I didn’t think anything of it. I started working in the film and advertising industry, which was a big drinking culture as well, but it never seemed to affect my work as I was getting awards, so it looked like everything was better than fine. I started working on a TV series which meant 14-hour days for six days a week, and that’s when I was introduced to speed. At that time, I was taking speed, smoking marijuana, drinking, and sometimes on a big special occasion taking ecstasy, LSD and cocaine. I always wanted to be the last guy standing, and the funniest person in the room, so I would take anything that would make me that way. I made a lot of money, I had a beautiful wife and kids, had great houses and great cars; from the outside, I had a great life and a successful business.
One day I was doing a photoshoot and afterwards went to the house of the guy I was with to smoke a joint and he pulled out an ice pipe and offered it to me to try. I did and then every now and then would give meth a try before it eventually stuck its claws into me. I started dreaming about ice on a regular basis, and my meth addiction really took hold. I had a double life for three years. Eventually, my wife started to dislike the person I had become, angry, self-centred and lying all the time. She left me when I was in my first rehab and for the next two years my life just went in a downward spiral.
I probably tripled my intake of drugs and criminal activities. I sold my business and my houses. I gave my wife most of the money when she divorced me and then I went on a mission to lose everything I had left. Because of my drug addiction I had nothing left, no houses, no cars and no friends. I would hang around dealers who I thought were my friends, but they really just saw me as another way to make money. I felt very alone and thought about killing myself, even putting it up on Facebook which led to a friend reaching out and getting me into rehab. But it didn’t work. I’d just get out of treatment, and start drinking again, which would make me want coke, I’d have coke and then would want ice. It was an insatiable urge. Everything was a mess. I went to rehab again when I got in trouble with the law, but I just wasn’t ready to stop.
Eventually, there were a couple of life-altering events where I almost died that pushed me to try residential addiction treatment again and this time give it all I had. I was drugged by some pretty bad people and left almost dying on the bathroom floor while they robbed me. I had a serious motorbike crash, and I got beaten up badly by some dealers. Those three things in succession were pushing me to get cleaned up, and then my daughter asked me to please go to rehab. As soon as she asked, I was like “yep”, I got on the internet and started searching, and that’s when I came across Hader Clinic Queensland. It took me about a month to get my stuff together and go into treatment at Hader Clinic Queensland. I was such a complete mess that I took my last drug in the rehab car park before going in.
I did the 29 days and even though I wanted to leave on day 3, one of the workers talked to me and convinced me to stay for day 4, and I’m so grateful that I did. After that, I just did everything that was suggested to me and worked as hard as I could. It was great having recovering addicts as the staff, people like JJ are not just talking to you, they are people who have been where you’ve been which gives it that extra level of credibility. Even Mark’s voice still echoes in my head. He just simplified things into words that I could understand, telling me to “put down the whip” and stop beating myself up for the past. I took it on board, and it made a difference.
Another pivotal part of my time at Hader Clinic Queensland was the yoga and guided meditations. I had always struggled with meditating, but the lady there explained that by getting into that deep state of meditation you can make decisions and change yourself. And because of getting into contact with my true self and deciding no more alcohol, I have seriously found this recovery easy. But I’m never going to let my guard down again.
I go to NA meetings almost every day and have done so for the last 20 months. I read my Just For Today meditation and broke my recovery down to one day at a time. When the depression starts to kick in, I write a gratitude list and sometimes when it’s really bad I pray for strength and guidance, and it works for me. I’m zen these days, life is serene, and I get joy out of the little things. I don’t have that need to seek out big dangerous things, I prefer spending time in nature. My life is better than it ever was. I have great relationships with my ex-wife, my children and my friends. I’m not the odd one out because I was the guy on ice, I’m the odd one out because I’m so healthy. I’ve now become an inspiration to my friends, and other addicts. I went back to Hader Clinic Queensland as part of H & I, and it was the best feeling in the world to speak to people like me and maybe say something that will save someone’s life. It was a special night.
If anyone’s thinking about Hader Clinic Queensland for residential addiction treatment, I would recommend it. I can’t fault it. The nurses were lovely and seemed to legitimately care. I went from the penthouse to the doghouse to now climbing up the stairs with a smile on my face.
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