Under the grey afternoon sky, I sat there on a park bench.
I could feel my jumper stick to me as the drizzle of rain slowly soaked through each layer of my clothes. I took the last few drags of a joint after a heavy night of drinking and doing coke.
At this point, my brain was so cloudy I couldn’t even remember how many days in a row this had been going on.
I stared into space, trying to numb the brick-filled pit in my stomach.
You see, back in 2015, I was running a successful web design and marketing company with 5 employees.
However, the stress of the business, combined with the trauma of losing mum – who died from an overdose when I was 10 years-old – led me to drink and use drugs on a daily basis.
I ignored the warning signs, keeping my head buried in the sand. I continued spiralling until eventually, I lost everything: the penthouse flat, the sea view, the Mercedes, the business and the office.
But most significantly I lost the trust of and connection with my family and friends.
My life crumbling around me, I sat on that park bench looking to drink more and score more drugs.
I called everyone I could think of – people I had already manipulated either successfully or unsuccessfully – to ‘lend’ me more money to keep going.
I had one number left.
He was one of my business mentors and a good friend. I pressed ‘call’ and the phone started ringing.
But as I tried to bullshit my way through this call, he could see right through it and he cut me off with a sentence that would change my life forever:
“Luke, you’re a crackhead.”
It hit me like a bus.
And although I had never smoked crack, I realised in that moment, I was an addict heading towards death just like my mum.
In one truthful comment, he shattered all my denial…
And I had my first moment of clarity…
It was then I went searching for answers...
I searched Google. I read countless books and articles, trying to find out why I drank, why I used drugs, and how to stop.
I listened to countless podcasts and mentors on YouTube and attended multiple personal development seminars.
I then looked at rehabs. The cost was well in excess of £20,000, which was just not possible! I was already thousands of pounds in debt.
Also, I questioned how locking me away for a month was going to help me stay sober when I got out of the rehab bubble? I would still have to deal with all these problems in my life – in the real world.
Then, as we all do,
I tried AA. I went to a few meetings but didn’t understand the whole ‘higher power thing’ and that I was expected to believe that I was powerless. And sitting in a group listening to everyone’s stories – I just did not get how that was going to help me!
Nothing seemed to be working…
I realised all these tactics were trying to resolve the symptoms and not the cause.
It was then I discovered addiction therapy.
Walking into my first therapy session I believed I would die from bringing forth all the pain and torment I carried.
I had suppressed so many of my emotions that I didn’t know what I would find and that scared the shit out of me!
Previous therapies like CBT and talking therapy had not been effective for me, as they never seemed to address my drinking habits.
But this therapist was different. Armed with their own experience of addiction and work in rehabs, they were able to connect the dots and address my issues with alcohol in a way that no one else had before.
I started to become more aware of my behaviour and began to take my head out of the sand.
The sessions put me outside my comfort zone and sometimes it felt like I was running an emotional marathon.
But over time, I developed the courage needed to embrace the uncertainty and anxiety of this journey of self-discovery.
As time went on, I took action to get things under control and stopped drinking and using drugs.
But, success is never a straight line and sometimes I would have left-field moments that would trigger me with emotions and I would slip.
Sometimes it felt like I would take one step forward and two steps back.
But every time, I dusted myself off and persevered, session after session, week after week.
Each time I slipped I would learn from the trigger and gain deeper emotional awareness.
Slowly, I processed more of the guilt and shame from the past.
Gradually, I emptied all the contents of this big bag of shit I had been carrying around my whole life.
After years of going around in maddening circles, I finally felt like I knew why.
I finally felt that I had broken this never-ending cycle.
As the people around me saw me sticking to my word and taking action month after month, they began to slowly trust me again.
I, too, began to trust myself.
I started dating again and met my partner. I went into a trusting relationship, being honest, which made me proud of myself and helped me rebuild my sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
As my life got back on track I took a really hard look at my friends.
Some of them were just drinking friends but with others, I actually had a lot in common with, outside of drinking.
I managed to continue socialising and be confident in social situations while not feeling like the odd one out.
With the tools in place to manage work without letting the stress overwhelm me, I finally had things under control.
As I made it past my first few months I knew I had moved from having cravings to having a choice.
Sharon is an open and empathetic counsellor and a qualified DBT therapist. She has extensive experience in the addiction industry, working with clients privately and in a rehab setting. She will provide a safe space for you to explore your thoughts, feelings and. behaviours whilst offering an open and non-judgemental environment where you can talk openly and freely with no influences or pressure.
As an addiction counsellor, I recently had the opportunity to appear on Channel 5's The Jeremy Vine Show, where I discussed alcohol addiction with Jeremy Vine's cohost Storm and guest Simon Thomas.
During the "Talking Health" segment, I shared insights from my extensive experience, addressing topics like common triggers and unhealthy alcohol use. I also offered compassionate advice on how to support a loved one struggling with addiction, emphasising the importance of open communication and seeking professional help.
My appearance on the show aimed to raise awareness about alcohol addiction and provide valuable guidance to viewers, leaving a lasting impression and potentially making a positive impact on many lives. READ MORE....
Our counselling programme is covered by two guarantees and they are both valid at the same time. The first one is a 7-Day money-back guarantee to try the programme out and see if it is a good fit.
On top of that, you also get a 60-Day money-back guarantee – that one covers you if you saw no value after putting in the work and completing the programme.
BOTTOM LINE: No matter what you have tried in the past, this is the first and last addiction programme you will ever need or you get your money back.