Testimonial of Mr. M.F.
‘My name is Mick and I arrived in Ravenscourt in March 2011. I had been taking drugs and drinking for thirty plus years. For the past six years I’ve been trying to get dry and clean but could never manage more than a few days at a time. I tried various ways to stop using such as day programmes and courses around substance misuse issues but I could never maintain any sort of recovery. For the last year prior to coming to Ravenscourt my health, both mentally and physically, became so bad that I knew if I didn’t do something different I would not be around for much longer, so when it was suggested to me to get myself to a rehab I didn’t feel that I had too many options left.
When I finally arrived at Ravenscourt I had absolutely no idea what to expect; just knew I didn’t want to die and my using was killing me. Straight away I knew I was in the right place because, given that everyone was at different stages of their programme, the differences were glaringly obvious. The whole rehab thing was a total shock to this addict’s system, just having rules to live by and a fixed routine was alien to me. Because I had been used to doing exactly what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, being told different at first rubbed me up the wrong way but I soon came to realise than the Counsellors there knew what it was like from experience. For the first time in my adult life, I started to really listen, so when I was told it was my thinking that was wrong it, over the weeks, started to make sense.
Being made to share the very things that I’d hidden away or used as excuses in front of relative strangers was the hardest thing I’d ever done and owning may part in things I’d always blamed on others was at the time, painful. Having said that life in rehab with my peers was an education in itself. Living with other people with similar backgrounds and life experiences forged a new and more tolerant side of me. The daily groups encouraged me to be more honest. As the weeks went by I could see a change in attitude in myself and others. I started to get something I’d never had before, and that was no matter how low my life had become, there really was hope, even for me. Ravenscourt was all about challenging my old beliefs and behaviours and learning new ways to deal with life without using, have a little bit of self-discipline and some respect for others and myself. It is no exaggeration when I say Ravenscourt and the Counsellors there helped save my life by giving back to me the ability to see that there’s a better way of living my life and I have to ability to live it, for that I thank you.’ Mr. M.F.
Testimonial of Mr R S.
‘I entered Ravenscourt in December 2010. I didn’t know what to expect, what I found was a structured non-judgmental establishment. To someone like myself that had never had discipline in my life except prison it began as a hard regime, it’s not a walk in the park, they strip you bare and make you look at yourself honestly, which we all need as addicts and alcoholics because in our mind we are the victims: blaming anybody and everybody for our predicament except ourselves. The job is to change the way we think which is done by group meetings, 1to1 with counsellors and AA and NA.
The rules and regulations are there for us and we need those to keep us safe in our recovery. There’s a lot of written work which is hard as some of the work hits you like a ton of bricks concerning the people that were affected by your abuse of drink and drugs. Gradually you learn that you’re a problem not a victim. The victims are the ones you left behind in your trail of havoc and destruction from family and friends to employers and people that have tried to help you. Ravenscourt is a journey of recovery and discovery, we’re also taught that unless we can accept that we’re powerless and our lives are unmanageable, there is little hope for recovery. You’re also encouraged to forge relationships with your peers which is another key to trust people, something I had never done in my whole life. I look at myself today and know I am a better person in my recovery, I put others first, I don’t think the way I used to, I’m more tolerant and concerned about my well-being, I have friends and the riches of recovery and endless.
I never thought I could sleep at night without a drink or a hit, it’s the best sleep I’ve ever had. I’ve been clean 10 months now. I’m going back to school to learn Spanish, I’m learning to play the guitar; my life had done a full circle. I was a pessimist when I first entered Ravenscourt, I’m now an optimist, my train of thought is solid; on entry to Ravenscourt it was in tatters. They turned me into a better person, I now have morals and concern for others as opposed to thinking about only myself. I had to hit rock bottom to be where I am today. Ravenscourt has done for me what I couldn’t do for myself, they drummed it into me one day at a time and it really works, you look too far ahead and the mind becomes misty and it’s not just for today anymore. If you don’t want recovery it’s no good getting into the program, if you want it you have to live it.
There are softer options than Ravenscourt but for me it had to be strict, it had to be hard work and I can’t thank the team there enough for helping me be the person I am today. After your day in Ravenscourt, your chores done, your written work, your meetings, it really is nice to go to sleep at 10.30 because you’re wiped out. It’s hard graft but the results far outweigh the graft.’ All the best, Mr R S.
Testimonial of Ms. L S
‘In April 2011 I was one of the lucky ones who were granted funding for three months for residential rehabilitation after struggling with alcoholism for almost 30 years. I had many attempt at trying to stop drinking but to no avail. I did about five detoxes prior to Ravenscourt but I was still unable to remain abstinent. Eventually I was assigned a Care Worker from my local council. She had had dealings with Ravenscourt in the past and she recommend that I try for funding to get treatment there.
I heard it was highly thought of and had a really good success rate. By this time I knew it was my last chance to get sober and get my life back. I went for assessment and they offered me a placement. When I was admitted I was in terrible poor health. I was really frightened of what I was going to have do in the next three months. Following my in-house detox the work commenced! Ravenscourt had a very strong structure which I struggled with at first. We had many groups which we had to attend. It involved a lot of soul searching and honesty around our addiction which I found very hard to deal with. I didn’t want people to know about me. I didn’t like being pushed to talk about my past but in there I had no option.
The counsellors were hard but fair and because most of them had been through addiction themselves they understood and knew how to get us to open up but also if it opened up a can of worms for us, they knew how to help us deal with it. We were unable to have visitors in the beginning which was also hard to deal with as, in my case, I didn’t have any safety blankets. I had nowhere to hide. I can honestly say that Ravenscourt was the best thing that could have happened to me and I will always be eternally grateful to them, and especially my key worker, for helping me face my demons. I am now in second stage, living a life and not just an existence. I am looking forward to a sober future. If anyone is offered a chance to go to Ravenscourt I would recommend that they grab the opportunity with both hands and embrace the programme.’ Ms. L S