My life has changed for the better
~Having been in recovery now since 2004, I can honestly say my life has changed for the better in so many ways. I was, as it is sometimes described, "a functioning alcoholic", (we are all functioning at some point aren’t we?), which in itself is a bit of an oxymoron. I had a job, my family was still with me and I owned a house. Of course, all of it hanging by a very thin thread.
When I finally admitted to myself that I had a problem, AND asked for help, I was fortunate enough to get into the treatment program at Bellwood. My recovery process started, and as I accepted that I am an addict/alcoholic, life became so much easier to live, and to be part of. Anxieties left me, I became a caring person again, selfishness faded away, I became a better father and husband and more productive at work. In other words, I have become a caring human being and part of society again.
These days, life IS beautiful. Of course, it is not all a bed of roses just because I am in recovery, but the difference now is that I have the coping skills to deal with situations instead of fleeing from them by using drugs or alcohol. As long as I remember whom I am and what I am, and deal with my feelings and situations honestly, I will not use alcohol or drugs. To do that, I make sure I talk to other people in recovery on a regular basis. If I don't, I will go back to using, and I certainly don't want to do that, because that was a very, very dark place.
PS. I still have my family, house and job.
Bellwood helped me build a foundation for the future
~To list the essential and practical ways in which Bellwood and it’s highly professional staff contributed to my recovery is somewhat like recovery itself - a basically simple and straightforward exercise. The tools, structure, information and daily guidance were all in place for me to take advantage of and help me build a foundation for the future. They showed me how to do the work. What is less obvious, and perhaps more important, was the continued contact, the building of relationships and the genuine interest I felt the program and staff had in me moving forward. My time in the program turned out to be only the beginning of my journey with Bellwood. The aftercare, counselling and opportunities for volunteer service have become an integral part of my recovery success. I believe, as someone who had tried everything imaginable to quit my addictions, that it was only through a balanced approach which stressed community and one’s place therein, that finally gave me a leg up on the baggage I carried. I tried, but could not will my addictions away. Bellwood’s program has helped me implement a 180 degree turn in my life through an understanding that my problems were not unique and a shared solution was and is possible. My testimonial to you is that I wake up every morning, work hard, and thoroughly enjoy my life as I never thought possible. That pretty much says it all.
Life is better on the other side
~By the time I got into Bellwood I was a stumbling, slurring mess; it took me 37 years to get there. As a lot of high functioning professionals, it was only when I started to malfunction, that I got scared, meanwhile I had caused unbearable suffering to my family and friends, but by that time, my feelings had died. However, with help from those very people that I had hurt, I checked into Bellwood.
I've been clean and sober for 6 1/2 years and I can honestly say Bellwood saved my life…I didn’t have another year in me. The care and understanding at this institution is astonishing.
I can honestly say that the 12 promises found in AA are actually unfolding for this addict. When I first read them, I really didn’t think they could apply to me, but they did. I never thought I would be recommending sobriety, but I can truly say that life is way better on the other side. Good luck.
Once again a role model to my family
~"Low self esteem combined with high work stress, a sense of personal failure and a heavy dose of intellectualization to bring me almost to my drinking bottom when I came to Bellwood. There I learned much about myself and acquired many tools to handle my addiction, including a support network of fellow addicts. After Bellwood, I lapsed once and really hit my bottom in the detox centre; but the tools , self awareness and the network which I found at Bellwood were part of the package which pulled me through. I am now happily approaching my fifth year celebration of sobriety and can once again be a role model to my family."
B of Ottawa
A journey with a lot of twists and turns
~My drinking was out of control and my life in chaos. I was isolating from my family and friends to drink, damaging the important relationships in my life. I was avoiding life by numbing my feelings, both good and bad.
Bellwood taught me that alcoholism is a disease and truly jump-started my recovery by stressing the importance of balance for my physical, mental, social and spiritual self. The Bellwood Aftercare Program keeps me connected with my Bellwood experience. Coupled with Alcoholics Anonymous, today I live a sober, loving and service oriented life.
My recovery is a journey with lots of twists and turns along the road. Sobriety allowed me to start that journey and the 12 Step Program provides me with insights into myself, ways of making changes and equips me to better deal with the life obstacles in my path.
To remain sober and continue to move forward in my recovery, I need to guard against complacency. Now at 18 months sober, I realize that I must do more, rather than less, to strengthen my program, spiritual condition and quality of life.
I need to live one day at a time.
Life as it was and living in the now
~By the time I was finally ready to seek help, I was drinking first thing in the morning to combat the shakes and chase the hangover away. I was able to function at my job, but I was only working half a day. I got drunk every day. I passed out often, skipped out on family functions. My reactions were over the top due to drinking. Or I wouldn't react at all. Just go numb.
Now: It will be four years since I have had a drink on September 9th. My life is so different now, so much fuller, richer and happier. I learned great coping skills at Bellwood.
I hit glitches in life, but rather than fall into self-pity I sought help. My kids are doing great. One of my kids has graduated from University and about to move out into her own place, the other is on the dean's list in his last year of University. Our relationship is great. We played scrabble on Christmas Eve, and I thought of Bellwood.
I have stuck with the strategy of setting goals for myself. I owe so much to the people at Bellwood. Not just the doctors, therapists, but also to the fellow clients. I'm really grateful that I have this second chance at life; it is so wonderful to be sober. The whole world is opened up for me.