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.

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