Henry's Alcohol Addiction Treatment - Hader Clinic Queensland

Henry’s Alcohol Addiction Recovery Story

After completing 60 days of Hader Clinic Queensland’s Residential Addiction Treatment, Henry is almost five months sober and looking to the future. This is his story.

I didn’t grow up in an environment that involved lots of drinking or taking drugs. It was around, but it wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. Then around when I was 14 I started partying and getting into alcohol and drugs. Eventually, it impacted my life to the point of needing to go to rehab, so I booked into Hader Clinic Queensland’s alcohol addiction treatment program, and now I’m almost five months sober. Even though I was taking drugs at a young age I never felt like I couldn’t stop taking them, whereas alcohol felt different.

After school I moved up north and did my apprenticeship, becoming a tradie and just working away. I was working with a lot of older blokes and was drinking a lot as it was kind of normal, part of the culture. The problem for me was that when the party finished I didn’t stop. Even before the party began I was having pre-drinks, and pre-pre-drinks, basically drinking all week in preparation for the big event on the weekend. And then continuing after the weekend had passed.

I was constantly battling with the desire to stop but with no willpower. It was always “I’ll stop tomorrow”, or “in the new year”, or “when I’m having a break from work”. In my head, I was telling myself that I would get sober, but I wasn’t. I knew I was an alcoholic, and I had tried outpatient detoxes and a wellness retreat, but there wasn’t any desire to sober up. I just wanted everyone around me to leave me alone. I thought I was fine as I was still functioning at work even though I was drinking all through the day. However, my general wellbeing was declining, and I was in a really bad place. There was a lot of unnecessary pain.

With my constant drinking came the alcohol withdrawals. That was the biggest indicator that something needed to change. My Mum also said to me that I needed to go to rehab, so I researched my options and wrote them all down. I had no desire to follow up with any of them.

Then a few months later I just called Hader up and said that I was struggling and that I needed to go to alcohol detox. I sorted some life stuff out, rang my boss and told him I was going to rehab, told my family, and then I went to complete the 28-night alcohol detox program at Hader Clinic Queensland.

I think the first week is pretty much the same for everyone, it’s a bit of a haze and you’re not sure what’s really going on. But by the second week, I was quickly realising that the 28-night program was not going to be enough. I wanted to put the work in, and I saw that there was more I needed to learn before I went back out into the real world. The world outside wasn’t going to change, I needed to change and to do that I needed all the tools I could get.

So, I booked in for a month in the rehab program, making my time in residential addiction treatment a total of 60 days. I’m grateful that I made that decision because Hader’s program gave me what I needed to stay sober for almost five months now.

The best part for me was being introduced to AA and NA, as it’s been a big part of my ongoing recovery. If I had gone to an AA meeting on my own I don’t think I would have gone back. But having it as a part of the Hader Clinic Queensland program meant that I could start to see the similarities in other people’s stories and realise that I now had a place to talk about getting sober and then staying sober.

Coming out of rehab I focused a lot on my recovery, but I did struggle at first with coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be 100% better straight away. But I remembered what I learnt in rehab, that by going back to drinking my life was going to be the same as it was, and so I put the work in that first month out.

I attended 6-7 meetings a week (mostly AA) and I did everything to the letter, with some aftercare as well. Three months later and now I can see the improvements and feel the benefits. I attend 3-4 meetings a week, and every morning I journal, do my readings and write my gratitude list.

It’s just a really good feeling after so many years of darkness to understand that so much of my bad luck and what I thought was normal was really because of my drinking. Through using the tools, I got in the Hader program and just trying to do the next right thing and stay sober, a lot of good opportunities have come to me. And it seems to be working because I am coming up to 5 months sober now and I’m feeling good.

Photographs of this client have been changed to protect their privacy.

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