When I arrived at Bethesda drug rehab I was broken, lost, hopeless and scared. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for recovery as I was still in the heat of active addiction and only went to rehab for everyone else and to lay low for awhile.

From day one everyone was very welcoming and friendly and in no time I felt like I was part of a family. The first week was suppose to be for me to detox but I threw myself in the programme after two days because I couldn’t stand to be alone with my thoughts for 10 seconds let alone a week.

I really believed I was one of a kind and nobody else felt the way I did or thought the way I thought. I never for a second would have imagined having anything in common with these “addicts” but after hearing everybody share it was really comforting to know that I related to them on so many levels and even more so they related to me. I wasn’t alone.

Colin slowly started chipping away at my denial system as I had such thick wall of denial built around me. I was a very stubborn person and fought back in the beginning on possibly every accusation that was thrown to me. But once I stopped fighting and actually listened I realised “hey maybe this dude with 27 years experience in addiction might be able to help me.”I really believed at 21 I knew everything but when I listened to the counselors and the other addict’s testimonies I realised I knew very little of the path I had chosen to walk down.

In my addiction I had to constantly be the center of attention and I pulled possibly every kind of stunt and was constantly in trouble at Bethesda.
I craved any kind of attention and because I had failed on achieving the good in my life I settled for the bad and even though I hated being in trouble, any type of attention was okay for me. One of the main conditions of staying at Bethesda is wanting to be there and wanting to actually change your life. If I didn’t want to stay I could have walked right out the gate and if I wasn’t willing to actually work the programme I could have just left without wasting anyone’s time and my parent’s money. The one thing that made me stay was how much grace and hope the counselors gave me and how much they believed in me which was more than I ever believed in myself. Words cannot express how they touched my life and loved me unconditionally. Trust me if you knew all the boundaries I pushed you would be amazed too. Colin was not afraid to challenge me and get to the core of my addiction and behaviors, I needed someone to cut through the bullshit and tell me straight what I refused to hear and I always walked away with my entire belief system challenged. He opened my eyes in a way that only from standing where I am today can I truly see how distorted my belief system really was.

After every lecture where I had been challenged Colin would find me and check if I was alright. This act of kindness really showed me what a strong humble man Colin was but how incredibly compassionate he really was. His heart was to help me and nothing else.

Opening myself up to the counselors was one of the hardest things I had to do and I didn’t trust that they would still accept me after finding out who I really was deep down inside. I had to keep my outside appearance perfect to cover the true mess of myself. But bit by bit John would encourage me to come and talk with him, I did and slowly let down my walls and learned to trust again. When I saw no hope and just wanted to give up on life, he was always there to uplift and encourage me, it blew me away how much love, grace, and patience this man had. He never gave up on me and I am so grateful God placed such an amazing friend in my life. Brian’s testimony really touched my heart, a man with a past like that and yet he was such a humble, friendly and precious guy. I had so many debates with him over my walk with God and never once did Brian show any frustration and was always so willing to help me anytime any day and that really touched me. Brian showed me hope when I saw none at all, he really encouraged me with my walk with the Lord.

Part of the Bethesda programme was to attend video courses and lectures, one of the most profound for me was the one on boundaries and how I discovered that I completely lacked any boundaries. I gained life tools I never knew existed and I actually believe these tools are essential for anybody’s life not only for addicts. It has played such a significant role in my recovery process. I have made so many hopefully lifelong friends who have really supported and encouraged me in and out of Bethesda. Those six months I was at Bethesda was one of the hardest but most eye-opening six months of my entire life. They resurrected what was left of me and I am eternally grateful that my first rehab and God willing my last rehab was Bethesda. They were the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am building a new life back in England with my family, I have gotten accepted into Surrey University where I hope to qualify as a midwife one day. As I am still in early recovery I have my struggles but one thing I have now that I never had before is hope and faith.


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