Our Overcomers

A success story from Kim*

What it was like before TOP

Alcohol and other addictions eroded my morals and values and dominated my thoughts and actions. I thought I was in control but really the substance was controlling me. I could feel myself changing and I did not recognise the person I was becoming. Substance use eroded my ability to sleep peacefully, to think clearly and to live without fear.

Being a young person dealing with addictions was a very confusing and conflicting time in my life. Couldn’t understand why I was having all these issues and problems with those around me. I could not go out and party and then still maintain a normal life. Once I started I just couldn’t stop. I was starting to get in trouble with police, my friends were pulling away from me, I certainly was not managing my finances and normal day-to-day living. I just wanted to be like everyone else. I knew that I wasn’t and deep down I knew that I had to make a change, as I did not want to live my life this way. Deep down I knew that there was more to life. I tried to control my drinking and drug use and I would constantly make promises to my family and friends but I just couldn’t stick to it.

I was very scared and concerned about the person I was and the life I was living and I was willing to accept help when it was offered. I was in a very vulnerable but in a motivated place when I was lucky enough to come to know about The Overcomers Place.

What happened once you came to TOP?

The day that I found The Overcomers Place was a major turning point. I found people like me. I did not feel judged. I felt accepted and supported. I slowly started to get to know myself and find out who I was without the drugs and alcohol. I didn’t get it straight away I still had to go out and make more mistakes several times because I just couldn’t accept that I was an addict. But The Overcomers Place was always there for me and kept the door open and helped me on my journey. I’m forever grateful and I continue to learn so much.

What is it like now?

It’s definitely not easy but The Overcomes Place has helped. I feel supported and I feel like I can be honest and be myself. I don’t have to pretend. The Overcomers Place is gentle and supportive, yet also a comprehensive program where I can move at my own pace in a peer supported environment.

I’m able to learn to trust again and find safety within the group environment. This helps me in day-to-day life. It’s really a miracle that The Overcomes Place exists and is able to provide access to treatment for all addictions and all people free of charge. It’s a wonderful service network and it supports people where they’re at. It gently progresses me towards wellness and freedom from addiction. *name changed to protect identity

A success story from Dan*

What was it like before TOP?

I began drinking by sneaking drinks from my parents at home when I was 13 or 14 years old. Further into my teenage years, the parties with friends started, and I just loved to drink. I went overseas for a year after I finished School on a drinking tour. I returned home, and got a job in a bottle shop, whilst doing a Uni degree. I found that I had many friends who loved the fact that I worked in the bottle shop and whilst they all went onto bigger and better things, I just keep working there. This gave me a sense of freedom – whenever I felt like a drink, it was at my fingertips. Eventually, my drinking led to me having arguments and fights and loosing friends and close relationships. I have physically hurt myself, woken up not knowing where I was, lost employment and almost lost my family because of my drinking. The impact on my family was devastating. They had seen me go from a well-educated, sports-loving, happy person to a person full of misery, a person who was starting to lose his purpose in life. I realised that I was an alcoholic and that I needed help to stop drinking and turn my life around. I went to rehab and completed a residential program. That was great, I learned a lot about myself and the effect of drinking on me, but I was not confident that I could stay away from the temptations of having a drink sometime in the future.

What happened once you came to TOP?

After drinking for nearly 30 years, I was referred to The Overcomers Place (TOP) after seeing my GP. I walked into TOP’s room and found that I was surrounded by people from all walks of life, all with substance abuse. They were so open and willing to share their issues. I was also able to share my story and the issues I was facing. The counsellors all had lived experience and held the space so we all felt safe. I felt like I belonged and began losing my shame base. The fear and loneliness I had faced whilst in my drinking hell hole began to fade into the distance. I was not judged by anyone in the room. The Counsellors were simply fantastic. They taught me how to love life again. They gave me tools to rebuild my life, abstain from alcohol and gave me reasons to enjoy my life. TOP has always there for me. If I was having a bad day, they helped me to find and keep me focused on the positive. I left feeling good about myself and confident that I had learned new tools to keep me going towards rebuilding my life.

What is it like now?

I feel very supported by the staff at TOP and have thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The lessons I have learned and the tools I have put in place for my day to day life have proven invaluable. I have been able to stay sober for 18 months, thanks enormously to TOP. On my own this would have been impossible. My family does not life in fear of losing me to alcohol now.

A success story from Christine*

What was it like before TOP?

I began drinking in my late teens. At first it gave me a sense of relief and freedom.

It also led to dishonesty, lost and damaged relationships, loss of employment, health issues and general self-disgust. I’ve since had 25 years of misery as a result of my substance abuse.

I sacrificed my dignity, my values and morals and my career. My family has suffered and my credibility, reliability and behavior have, at many times, been deplorable.
It became the only thing I felt worth living for- that end of day bottle, or in my case the early morning drink, was my alcoholic bubble and I would rather exist there than in the real world. It numbered my reality and consumed me.

The impact on my family as they watched my progression into addiction was difficult for all to accept, especially my husband, my siblings and my close friends. Luckily during my first period of sobriety my children were young enough and I maintained sobriety for many years in the times they needed me most but after leaving 12 step support, I picked up alcohol after 15 years of abstinence. My struggles in the last few years of relapse have been considerably worse on all my relationships.

What happened once you came to TOP?

I was referred to The Overcomers Place after attending an inpatient Detox Centre. It was my fourth residential rehab and I knew I would be back in lock up if I did not have support once I left.
Straight away I felt welcomed and comfortable. I was listened to, guided, comforted and taught to put into practice the values, exercises and thinking that I had so often been advised to me in my many detoxes. I got to know myself again.
I walked into a room full of people from all walks of life who were so open about the things I had kept secret my whole life. The fear, shame and loneliness that was strangling me fell away and I finally felt I Belonged

What is it like now?

My abstinent days built up and became months. I learnt the tools to connect.

I now see a counselor once a week to help me with the deeper painful things in my past and six months on, I attend two days a week at The Overcomers Place.

Now I am living with some form of balance. Sober and improving my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength and resilience. I have support and guidance. TOP has consolidated my resolve and given me stronger foundations on which to continue to build a spiritually focused and hopefully content and productive future.

A success story from Martin*

What was it like before TOP?

Growing up in an alcoholic family it was hard to know that Ii had a problem at the beginning of my drinking. All I knew was that I was hooked almost instantly. I remember thinking in my early 20’s how there were all these advertisements about quitting smoking and I thought, I could give up smoking but man drinking would be hard, even then.

As a daily drinker it was great. I thought my friend was alcohol and it made all the pain go away and gave me confidence. In reality, I had no control and my addiction got more and more larger. Then when I was in my early 30’s and it all started failing. A builder that I was working with said that I was an alcoholic. Then it all really started cracking. I found out everybody knew.

So I worked on it, alone. With the threat of losing jobs, relationships, friends, family and face. I got some time up too. Then things happened and I fell. The cycle repeated.

At the end of last year things really got out of control and I had my first bout of rehab, then a second this year. After a very serious relapse I then decided to throw all I could at it – 12 steps, outpatient groups and soberlink. The day before my discharge I had the blessing to meet TOP.

What happened once you came to TOP?

TOP is a vital part of my recovery and provides vital structure to my week. All the staff are as good as they get. I am also receiving assistance from one of the counsellors privately. It helps from one of my higher powers at the moment.

What is it like now?

I am well on my road to recovery. I am working part time and feeling like I have a much more positive outlook on life now.

I can’t thank them enough or rate them more highly.
*name changed to protect identity