From consequences to hope

When Sean entered The Cedars, his life was a culmination of one negative consequence after another. He sat in fear and dread every day that he’d lose his child, his job and his life if he continued, but he didn’t know how to stop.

Read Sean’s story of transformation and hope and how he learnt how his experience could help those still suffering.

“My name is Sean and I am an addict. I’m 37 years old and from Johannesburg, I grew up in a small town called Benoni. I came from a good family and I had a happy childhood. Yet, some of my earliest memories reveal to me that I was never quite ‘okay’. I never felt like I fitted in or belonged. I have always been searching for something to fill that void in me.

When I was 13, I discovered alcohol. It became my solution to the way I felt on the inside. It eased that pain and made life a bit more bearable. At 14, I began to experiment with drugs. I loved how these things made me feel; how they helped me escape myself. 

As I grew older my use of different substances progressed. I still did well at school and university, but my progression continued into my work years and my use of substances got heavier and heavier. The consequences of my using were getting worse as I progressed, and I got to a point that I knew I had to stop. 

I tried a lot of things to stop: getting into relationships, changing friends, changing jobs, going to church, seeing counsellors and psychologists, taking medication, getting married, having a child, getting a divorce. The truth was, nothing worked for very long; I always needed to get back on substances. 

I couldn’t stop.

In the end, my life was a mess after a series of severe consequences and I was tired of living in constant fear of losing my daughter, my job and my life. I had hit my rock bottom and I asked for help. It was suggested to me by a friend that I should go to The Cedars. My life has never been the same since. 

They revealed to me this is a progressive disease. I put my trust in the experienced staff members and I underwent a process. The Cedars gave me a solid foundation for my recovery. I studied the literature there, I learned about the 12 steps of recovery, I did the step work, I learned about the importance of meetings, sponsorship, fellowship and giving back with service. 

I have been clean for over 2 years now. That void I had since childhood is gone. It’s a miracle. I don’t take any medication. I don’t miss drugs and alcohol. I feel like a different person. 

My entire life has changed, especially on the inside.

I learned at Cedars that there are certain things I have to do to maintain my recovery. I go to recovery meetings, I have a sponsor, I do service, I try my best to live a spiritually-principled life.

I am in the process of making amends to those I harmed, to fix those relationships and I now live a meaningful life. I am a grateful recovering addict and alcoholic. I have something to offer now because of my experience at The Cedars. 

They taught me that my experience can help countless others and that’s what I aim to do now. 

I look back on my time at The Cedars and it fills me with gratitude. I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

They saved my life. I plan to go back there and share my story with the patients every new year that I am clean.”

A reminder that during these unprecedented times in South Africa, it can be a daunting task to figure out the logistics of seeking help for yourself or a loved one. Our team at The Cedars are a medical aid contracted essential service. We are able to travel securely between provinces and assist with collecting clients and transporting them safely to our beautiful facility in Kwa-Zulu Natal, for the equivalent of an airline ticket (JHB) or we can collect clients for free if they are based in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region.

Sound helpful? We are available 7 days a week to assist and discuss in greater detail.

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