From when I first started drinking in my teens, it was obvious it didn’t agree with me. I remember my older brother leaving for university when I was 17 and he told me that I needed to knock drinking on the head. It wasn’t until twenty years later I finally realised he was right.

I first tried to get help in 2011 after being arrested and my relationship with my wife was on a knife edge. But at that point I wasn’t ready to be substance free. It just wasn’t the right time for me and I was still very dependent on other people, which is a hinder to recovery.

I did try to moderate my drinking but everytime I thought I had put a lid on it, it would blow up again. Things would take a turn when I was being depended upon or relied on. In my marriage, we were very co-dependent which was a deadly combination but we were determined to make it work and kept starting afresh.
In 2016, I became a dad again and we moved house and I was moderating my drinking. We christened the new house with a few drinks but I ended up drinking everything in sight after my wife went to bed. That night I was arrested for drinking driving and then a few months down the line I was arrested again for assaulting a family member.
Whilst in the prison cell, it dawned on me for the first time that I need to be substance free and be abstinent for the rest of my life. There was no comeback from this.
My parents came to get me and I lived with them in Birmingham. My state of mind was very unstable and suicidal and this was the beginning of finding my feet with recovery. Work gave me time off, which they always had done over the years.  That was the year I started to attend 12 step meetings.

I was in a fog and devastated about what’s happened. I had made so many empty promises but this time I meant that I was never going to drink again. I managed to keep my job and found a room in a shared house but I sadly had a relapse once I was on my own.
In December 2016, I went to a CA meeting and I found my home there. I met people and I got a sponsor. Things started improving quickly.  
I soon realized that things that happened in my childhood had left a void. Drinking was the way of filling a void. CA meetings then started to fill that void.
I had been sober about a year and had access with my son. But I relapsed again following a night out with my girlfriend. The thought of whether I would be able to handle having a drink took over and became an obsession.

One of my sponsors suggested I leave and move back in with my parents. Luckily I managed to get into a rehabilitation centre as I had a medical insurance policy through work.
One dark weekend in there I really wanted to die. But I’ve since realised we have to feel those experiences because they’re what allows some spirit to shine through.
After six weeks in rehab, I then got a place at Lindale after being recommended by a friend. I arrived feeling close minded, thinking I knew what I was doing having had experience from AA meetings. There was so much I needed to learn about compassion for myself and others and how to accept help.
The group therapy sessions are really important, especially in those early days. Through the support here I saw how I kept repeating patterns: get in a relationship, mess things up and go back to parents. I thought I was never going to stop doing it. I was really terrified that I couldn’t trust myself.
I learnt that certain ways in which I behave are genetically predisposed to and they are amplified by addiction. I thought that by being sober my problems would go away, such as loneliness and neediness but they didn’t.
It was hard for me entering shared living again but it was very humbling. I met others who were addicted to other substances and realised we were all in the same boat.
I also got a new sponsor and I could sense he was the right person for me. It’s scary to ask someone to be a sponsor; you feel vulnerable as they have to find out who you truly are if you want to recover.

He introduced me to Buddhism as well as the 12 step programme. I’ve missed it during the pandemic, as it is not the same online.
I became a volunteer at Lindale to help others find volunteer work and then became a paid support worker. I left only recently to start a new job with my brother and I have signed a tenancy to new flat in Moseley. It’s ideal as I am close to the Buddhist centre, town, my parents, and Lindale.
This October will mark two years of being substance free. I am in contact with ex-wife and it will take time to heal that relationship. I’m hoping I will have contact with George as I have a responsibility to him.


How we have helped

  • One to One support session
  • Support with accessing benefits
  • Support with obtaining employment
  • Support with health assessments
  • Management of prescribed medication
Graham Surname

"The group therapy sessions are really important, especially in those early days!"

Graham Surname

Our Success Stories

Lindale Recovery have helped lots of people getting back on track.

Click on the links below to find out about some of our success stories and how the support we offer, combined with residential housing and paid work.

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