Scott’s Journey through Alcohol Addiction Treatment to Sponsorship
Scott is in recovery and supporting others to stay sober after completing residential addiction treatment at Hader Clinic Queensland. This is his story.
Alcohol addiction is a disease with a cycle of addiction that runs in my family. My father is 38 years sober, my brother is 6 years sober, and I was almost 11 years sober when I was diagnosed with cancer and relapsed. I was at my lowest when, with the support of my family, I went to Hader Clinic Queensland and completed 60 days of alcohol addiction treatment. I’ve been sober ever since and am helping others to do the same.
My relationship with alcohol started at a young age as I watched my father grapple with addiction and recovery. I despised alcohol, and the 12-step program, because they took my father away from me for a period of time. As a young man that negative relationship turned into aggressive blackout drinking. I was a functioning alcoholic who worked hard and played hard. Fortunately, around the time my daughter was born, I had a light-bulb moment and I got sober. I was sober for almost 11 years, helping others to work their way through addiction and even supporting my brother to sobriety when he went through Hader Clinic Queensland.
Then the perfect storm hit. I was diagnosed with cancer on a Monday and wrote my will before surgery on Thursday. I had no idea whether I was going to live or die. Instead of processing it emotionally or physically, I spent my time working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, and doing radiation treatment in the morning and evening. I stopped reaching out to my sponsor, stopped sponsoring others, stopped attending meetings, and stopped doing service. I didn’t want to feel so I picked up a drink.
During my relapse, I knew at some point my ability to continue functioning and providing for my family was going to break. It all came crashing down around me as my family and employers became aware, and my wife of 30 years made the powerful decision to leave me (which I’m now very grateful and proud of her for doing).
So, I resolved to end my life. I planned out how I was going to do it, where I was going to do it, and when I was going to do it. But my higher power had another plan as on the day I was going to end my life, Rural Alive and Well attempted to contact me three times and then sent the police for a welfare check. The police took me to the hospital where I detoxed for 24 hours.
My brother recognised what was going on, and due to his pre-existing relationship with Hader Clinic Queensland, he contacted them while I was in hospital. They were absolutely first-class in their response and understanding, and within 48 hours I was booked in.
I flew up to Queensland and entered Hader Clinic with 48 hours of sobriety under my belt. The receptionist, nursing staff, GP, and Mark in particular made me feel very welcome. I had a strong pre-existing knowledge of the program, so I was able to get through the non-physical part of alcohol detox comfortably. At the end of my 28 days, I didn’t feel like it was time to leave yet so I booked in for an extra 30 days of rehab, committing to my recovery and making sure I attended every class.
The unique part about Hader Clinic Queensland is that every staff member, including some of the medical staff, are recovering alcoholics or addicts. In 1930’s Bill and Bob created the 12-step program, a program of one alcoholic/addict sharing their experience, strength, and hope to another alcoholic/addict and helping them stay clean and sober. In Hader Clinic Queensland that extends to their staff, which is a unique and positive aspect to the program.
I successfully completed the 60-day program at Hader Clinic Queensland, and I am very grateful to all the staff of the Hader program, especially those that I worked close with, Rosie, Jason, Riri and Mark who helped me through the massive highs and lows I went through. When I entered Hader Clinic Queensland’s residential treatment program I was 107 kilograms and when I left I was 88. Ever since my life has been great as I have been exercising and eating clean and fulfilling some lifelong dreams of mine.
I have an overwhelming desire to return to give-back at Hader Clinic Queensland and one day work in the field. Since leaving rehab I have completed the 12 steps and I’m working the program every day. I have a sponsor who supports me not only in my own recovery, but in coaching me to sponsor others. Because of my almost 11 years of sobriety before my relapse and my deep knowledge and working of the program.
My sponsor is comfortable with me sponsoring others and I am currently working with 8 sponsees. My goal is to continue to give away what’s been given to me and help as many people on the road to recovery as much as I possibly can. My sponsor and Gary Simpson, one of the founders of NA in Australia, are currently coaching me to achieve just that. I feel very fortunate and blessed that I get to live the rest of my life trying to do what Bill and Bob set out to do in 1930/1935 when they got sober; help others do the same.
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