I have worked with many alcoholics and addicts during my career although there is one client who I will always remember; she had everything life could offer – fame, good looks, fantastic wealth – although she seemed hell-bent on destroying herself completely through alcohol.
I lost count of the number of times I saw her, pale, sweating, shivering…and absolutely adamant that this was it, that she was going to stop for good this time. But ‘this time’ never seemed to come and although she appeared to bounce back, the toll alcohol was taking on her physically, mentally and emotionally was becoming a real cause for concern.
I had tried many times to persuade her to go into treatment, although she was always terrified of the bad publicity she thought that would bring and certain that she didn’t want to engage in any group therapies.
Eventually, she was persuaded to try the Phoenix Retreat, ironically because she had never heard of it and so was reassured her privacy would be protected. She was originally admitted for three months and ended up staying for nearly six. I visited her regularly throughout and the transformation was astounding.
We recently celebrated her one year sober anniversary with a quiet meal with family and friends, who had all been part of her treatment through the Family Therapy programme. It was a day I’d come to think would never happen but, thankfully for her it did.