I have been struggling with alcohol for over 25 years. All the really bad things I have done in my life were due to my drinking. From really bad behaviour to broken relationships and all through that time it really never entered my mind that I was someone who need to go to rehab!
I got to the point where I was drinking at work – I was hiding my addiction from everyone including my wife. I eventually got to the point where I went to my GP and asked for help. By this point I had put my and marriage in jeopardy. The alcohol had made me depressed, cynical, negative, tired, irritable, lazy, selfish and anti-social. Although I knew it was destroying me, I kept going back to it. My GP had prescribed tranquilizers and my part was to stop the drinking. It never happened!
I got to the point where I was taking 3 tranqs a day and drinking a bottle of whiskey. I had become totally bed ridden and was not going to work. At some point I had a nagging feeling that I was really in a dangerous place and maybe even close to death. In this state I finally asked my wife for help. We had friends from church and the husband had been to Healing Wings many years before.
Within a week I was on a plane to Pelgrims Place in the Western Cape. I can remember my day of arrival. I could hardly get up the stairs that led to the entry of the Centre! I was truly relieved that I was there. I found the community of men staying there to be really welcoming and friendly. Very willing to help and they were so kind to me from the get go. I was still very withdrawn and my heart felt like it was more like stone than flesh. But as I followed the program things slowly started to change for me. Being with men that had had their own and understood my addiction was very freeing to me. They helped me to feel that I wasn’t an outcast. I saw the love that they had for one another and I desperately wanted to be part of that. I slowly came out of my shell more and more and I really started to trust the program and put more and more effort into my recovery. I could actually see and was aware of the changes taking place while I was there.
The staff were amazing, they walked with me and gently helped me to progress in my recovery. I built friendships and relationships at Pelgrims Place that will last a lifetime!
One of the biggest breakthroughs I had was the restoration of my relationship with God, that was huge for me, and as my deep depression lifted, I started to walk daily with the Lord. My heart of stone had become a heart again. It was so powerful and I grew from strength to strength.
I was almost a little shocked when it came for me to leave Pelgrims Place. The community had walked with me and at times carried me through my depression.
I have the heart to live again, and I am so excited about life. I have been really kind to myself lately, and am grateful for all that I have. The time I spent at Pelgrims Place has totally changed my life. I can honestly say that it was some of the best moments in my life! And that is huge.
Thank you to everyone involved in my recovery and total lifestyle change that I was able to make. God Bless you and many thanks 😊. I love you all.JD – November 2021