The True Value in Life – Max B

As early on as she could remember, Max felt different and overwhelmed by life. She felt that she never truly could fit in. Getting into recovery gave her the opportunity to see the true value in her life and how she could help others. Read below her inspiring story of strength and hope. 

“My name is Max and I am an addict and alcoholic.

I am 26 years old and I grew up in Durban, South Africa. I had an extremely loving family who had provided everything for me and more. My earliest memories were that of me always feeling different, overwhelmed by life and constantly comparing myself to other people. When I was 7 years old, I cried on my dads’ shoulder, asking him ‘who will pay for my medical aid, who will I work for, how will I ever make a living?’

That same year I was sick and had discovered the cough medicine my mom left on the side of my bed, I decided I was tired of feeling sick and so I drank the whole bottle and hid it under my bed.

Wow, what a sense of ease and comfort. I no longer felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. From that day forward I dug through my parent’s medicine cabinet and bought medication from the pharmacy on my parents account, I constantly chased that feeling of not having a care in the world.

Life in school was hard for me, I was constantly teased a lot for how I looked. All I wanted to do was look and feel like the other girls-they looked genuinely happy and okay to be themselves. I had begun to starve myself and use laxatives in order to lose weight.

These were all a fix for me throughout school and college. After finishing school, I had decided to study Culinary Arts, through that I had felt like I finally felt my place in the world, in a kitchen at one of Durban’s best restaurants.

In 2016 my father had passed away and this I used as an excuse to use more. I had also gone to a psychiatric ward and started to see a psychologist. As my using progressed and I could not feel the relief I had first felt when I was 7, I began to feel empty, hopeless.  I had hit my rock bottom.

A week later I had found myself being driven up the driveway of The Cedars, my mom was crying, all she wanted was for me to be okay as I was the only thing she had left of my dad.

I finally had a chance to start my life on a clean slate. I had to get brutally honest about things I had never told anyone, I had the chance to build healthy relationships with those around me, I was shown how cunning, baffling and powerful this disease is, which was so evident
even without the substance.

I learnt the true value of how one addict can help another through our own experiences of recovery and how to deal with life on life’s terms.

Through the 12 steps of recovery I do not need to get overwhelmed by life, as I had as a child, as long as I follow a few simple suggestions; go to 12 step  meetings, have a sponsor, write daily inventories, service to others and have a relationship with a Higher Power.

My journey to recovery has been a little strange, but I am grateful to have the experiences that I have because I can help others. The Cedars has been my second home, and one of the most incredible healing environments,
that has shown me that I can be of value to others.

I live a happy, joyous and free life.”

From consequences to hope – Jaden S

With every opportunity handed to him, a deep empty space grew in Jaden S’s life. Consequences piled on top of one another until he reached his rock bottom and found his way into the light of recovery at The Cedars.

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Ways To Support A Loved One Once They Have Returned Home From An Addict Rehabilitation Centre

Addict rehabilitation centres have many programs in place that help prepare their patients for returning home and back to reality. But this doesn’t change the fact that it will still be a very vulnerable time for your loved one, and your effective support could play and integral role in their overall recovery.

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Ways To Support A Loved One Once Home From An Addict Rehabilitation Centre

Addict rehabilitation centres have many programs in place that help prepare their patients for returning home and back to reality. But this doesn’t change the fact that it will still be a very vulnerable time for your loved one. Your support could play an integral role in their overall recovery.

Continue reading “Ways To Support A Loved One Once Home From An Addict Rehabilitation Centre”

Choosing A Drug Rehabilitation Program That’s Right For You

Realising that you need to enter into a drug rehabilitation program is respectable; a decision that will significantly benefit you and your family greatly. The next step is choosing which program will be best for you.

Fortunately, in the day and age we live in, we have the internet at our fingertips and it makes accessing information about drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs all the easier. Below are a few things that you should consider when choosing a drug rehabilitation program.

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From existing in life, to LIVING a life! – Marc F

Unified by our similarities, not our differences! Read below to hear how Marc F inspiring story of strength and hope, as he went from merely existing in life, to grabbing the opportunity of recovery with both hands and LIVING a life. 

What it was like:

My Name is Marc and I am an Alcoholic. I’m neither embarrassed nor ashamed to call myself an alcoholic.

Everything about my childhood screamed ‘normal and happy’. I attended a private school growing up, where I was somewhat academic and very athletic. By all accounts my life was picture perfect and I was destined for great things. I was a social chameleon throughout my life. I could fit in with many different crowds yet I felt absolutely alone.

I always felt I had this large void inside of me that I had to fill at all costs. I latched onto anything and everything that filled that void.

I used to lie, cheat and steal like it was second nature to me. This toxic trifecta was as easy to me as breathing. My friends and I used to sneak drinks at parties, events and any social gathering and it seemed like all the cool kids were doing it, but there was a big difference between me and the other kids.

I was always the one getting carried or dragged out of these events due to being heavily intoxicated. Alcohol definitely filled that void inside of me and it gave me an excuse to behave the way I did.

Throughout my teenage years and my 20’s, my behaviour went from bad to worse and so did the consequences. My name became known in bars, clubs, restaurants and social circles across Johannesburg for all the wrong reasons.

I was known as the guy who got into fights and caused havoc and destruction wherever he went. I wrote off several cars, spent several weeks a year in ICU and landed myself in a psychiatric ward twice where I was diagnosed with various mental disorders and prescribed multiple types of medication, all in the hopes that it would fix me.

Despite the psychiatric and medical intervention, I still didn’t feel whole and my life was still consumed with fear, depression and delinquent behaviour. Alcohol induced blackouts were still a day-to-day occurrence. My life was in shambles and I was broken mentally, physically and spiritually. I had eventually hit my rock bottom having lost friends, jobs, my pride, my happiness and the trust of my loved ones. It was only a matter of time before my wife left me and my family abandoned me.

What happened: 

I finally plucked up the courage to ask my cousin, who is in recovery for help. It was immediately suggested that I go to The Cedars for treatment. I spent some time in their beautiful facility and I can safely say it was the best experience of my life.

It was made extremely clear to me just by hearing the experiences of others that I am an alcoholic. I was immediately welcomed into the facility with warmth, kindness and unconditional love by both my peers and the amazing staff.

I was then introduced to the 12 step program of recovery and little did I know the journey I was about to embark on would change my life forever. I placed my trust in the staff at Cedars.

What it’s like now:

I was taught that in order for me to live a happy, sober life I have to attend meetings, speak to my sponsor every day and help others like myself.  The staff became family and so did my peers. I am now sober, I am off all my medication and I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams.

It’s a miracle that an alcoholic of my type is able to live a life filled with love, happiness, real relationships, compassion and kindness.

I am no longer just existing, I am living!

I owe my life to The Cedars.

A new lease on life at a young age – Jordan S

Jordan S proved that recovery can happen at a young age as he grabbed the opportunity for a fresh start with both hands during his time at The Cedars.

Read below his inspiring story of experience, strength and hope.

“My name is Jordan and I’m an addict. I am 25 years old and I was born in Kwa-Zulu Natal. I had a good upbringing, I experienced no trauma or abuse and I am from a very loving and supportive family.

As far back as I can remember I was not okay internally. I have always struggled with life on life’s terms since I was a young child. I was a distracted and disturbed kid and I was put on Ritalin at a young age. I would always try and make myself feel better by using anything outside of myself to make me happy.

From obsessive computer gaming, to getting a buzz off sugar and then being the popular kid. I was always hiding behind masks and trying to escape reality. Nothing was ever enough. 

In high school I found the solution to all of my problems in drugs and alcohol. When I drank and used drugs I felt okay, I was able to socialise successfully, and the void I had felt my whole life was temporarily filled.

I was diagnosed with a chronic kidney disease at the age of 13 which opened the door for severe opiate addiction through prescription pain medication.

Whenever I didn’t feel okay, I would take a pill or drink some alcohol. This took me down a very dark and lonely path over the next 10 years which left me completely hopeless and helpless.

The drugs had stopped working no matter how much I used.

I could not live life without the use of drugs, but I could not stop using. I became a selfish, dishonest and manipulative. I wanted nothing more than to end my own life, but I did not have the courage to do it.

I came across The Cedars on the internet in a desperate search for help.

The Cedars saved my life.

I completed the 12-step program of recovery. I learned that drugs and alcohol are only a symptom of my problem and that I suffer from the disease of addiction.

My life has changed completely in the last three years that I have been in recovery. I am happy joyous and free. I do not have the desire to use drugs anymore and my life is full of service to others today.

All of my destroyed relationships are mended, I sleep well at night and I am finally happy with who I am as a person. My family are able to live their life without being distracted by the chaos my addiction would cause. Recovery is possible! I will always be grateful to the counsellors and staff at the Cedars for guiding me to become the person I was always meant to be.

I am now volunteering at the Cedars, and I have the opportunity to help others recover from addiction every day. I am studying to become an addiction counsellor.

My life is full.

I have experienced so much joy and many new experiences in my recovery.”

We’re so proud to have so many of our clients living in long-term recovery. If you are interested about the services we offer at The Cedars, please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to discuss it with you in more detail.


Related Tag: Drug Addict Rehab

The Benefits Of Rehab Centres For Anyone Suffering From Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is one of the major struggles that many people face. Unfortunately, today, the act of binge drinking has been somewhat normalised, and we see this especially in Western cultures.

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How To Find The Best Drug Rehabilitation Centers

When seeking help for yourself or a loved one in aid of treating substance abuse, it’s crucial to consider all options as everyone’s case is unique. With many treatment centres and programs available, it’s essential to ask a few questions before making the big decision of which one is best suited. Some of these possibilities include inpatient versus outpatient, long-term versus short-term and group versus private counselling – all of which can be somewhat overwhelming for someone trying to take that first step. So you ask, how do I figure out which one to choose? Asking these important questions below will help lead you toward the right solution.

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