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A former alcoholic from London tells their story

When office worker, Lee, 26, from London, realised that his social drinking habits were out of control, he came to Port of Call for help. This is his story of how he curbed his binge drinking for good, and became a better husband, father and son as a result, thanks to rehab organised through Port of Call.

Lee’s story

There was no eureka moment, or depths of despair, for me and my alcoholism. The fact is, I was spending too much money, and too much time, on booze. Working in Central London meant that there was always an invite to the pub, or some sort of social gathering, virtually every night of the week. Without fail, I would turn up to pretty much all of them.

London addiction rehab

In my teens, alcohol was a way for me to overcome my shyness. By the time I was married with a kid, in my mid-twenties, it had become more about escapism. I’m ashamed to admit it, but the routine of work, nappies, and dinner with the in-laws wasn’t enough for me. I guess I was hanging on to my ‘young free and single’ days, and that meant drinking the night away with whoever would join me.

Nothing drastic occurred. It just got to a point where I felt like I was sleepwalking through life. I was a substandard colleague, disinterested father and hopeless husband. My wife stuck by me, for the sake of our child, but the overriding mood in our house was far from happy. I needed to break the cycle, but the lure of London’s bars – and even just a skinful at a friend’s flat – repeatedly proved too much.

One day she set me an ultimatum: either I sobered up or she would leave. The selfish part of me wondered if that was what I wanted but, after some major soul searching, I realised that I would be lost without her and especially my daughter. I needed help, and fast. A friend had talked positively about their rehab experience through Port of Call, so I gave them a call. It was a relief. They immediately put me at ease and gave me options.

The choice was obvious for me; I needed to go to rehab, simple as that. Not only did Port of Call find me several suitable private rehab options, when I’d made up my mind they moved really quickly to get me booked in as fast as possible. Once there, my counsellors worked closely with me to work through the reasons I drank, and to come up with better ways to deal with everyday issues – particularly my reluctance to face up to my responsibilities.

Their recovery programme very much followed the 12-step model. The eighth and ninth steps really resonated with me:

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

I followed those two points to a tee, and still do, to be a better husband, father and son. Rehab has taught me to appreciate everything that I have in my life now. As a consequence, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s huge testament to Port of Call, and their excellent advisers, that I’ve progressed this far. I can’t thank them enough.

Disclaimer: Names and certain details have been changed to protect the identity of case study participants.

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