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Your help has been invaluable. You gave me three potential avenues that my daughter would use to try and negotiate / manipulate her way out of treatment. It was amazing the way she said EXACTLY what you thought she would say! I was able to ‘head her off at the pass’ as I knew the direction she was taking as she took it and it was like sticking to a script. Again your intervention services have been invaluable and we as a family all feel like she’s at last receiving the care she needs at an upmarket addiction rehab centre. This weekend will be more relaxed than so many before, we’re relieved that she’s getting quality treatment, baie dankie! Chris in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

Thank you so much for sending all the info through so quickly and for the amazing and supportive response we have had since the first call this morning. It sets a shining example of how my husband will be treated and is the only light I have seen at the end of the tunnel so far. You guys are amazing!!! Shannon F. Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

At first I wondered how your website worked, with the links to overseas facilities.  However, when a family member is faced with the decisions and options to look at what is available, it’s quite daunting to trawl through all the locations on the internet, especially as there are many that you don't know. To have a service like this is fantastic, as it personalises the task and shortlists the process by recommending you directly to the relevant and appropriate service providers. Thank you! You have helped me reach a plan. Frieda D in Johannesburg

You guys are amazing!!! Your help has been invaluable. Keep up the good work, there are lots of single parents out there who need people like you, you will never know what your kindness, help, assistance and caring has done in my life and my son Brandon’s life. God’s richest blessings to you and your families. Jayne R in Cape Town

Dear WeDoRecover. My heartfelt appreciation for the prompt intervention with my cousin’s addiction problem. My family is confident of your skill and compassion for him to recover and rebuild his life. I personally wish to thank you for the warm welcoming manner and most of all the professional addiction advice and guidance that I received whilst making endless phone calls to you. I am excited about his recovery. Regards Mpho in Jo'burg

I had become so accustomed to being miserable that I thought it was the only way to live.  I felt sorry for myself but never did anything to better my life.  I was drinking to try and rid myself of my sorrows, but really I just felt miserable when I drank.  It was the perfect way to wallow in self-pity until I got numb. I was a loner, pretty much by choice.  It was easier to keep with my routine of drinking in the evenings after work without having to please other people.  That’s why it took so long for me to see the problem I guess. You helped me to find a treatment centre where I felt safe and accepted.  After a few short weeks I left rehab feeling like a million bucks.  I realised that the misery I felt was entirely optional, and that I can choose how I want to live. P.D. Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

I never expected to be booked into a treatment centre. I had just sat my finals at Uni and was pretty sure I had done well.  My boyfriend was a fine upstanding member of the community.  I enjoyed a wide social life and felt popular and well liked. The people around me were expressing concern about my use of diet pills.  I had originally started taking them in an effort to lose weight but discovered that they helped me to stay alert and study for longer periods of time. It was only when I collapsed one night that I realised something must be wrong.  I decided to see a doctor who recommended treatment for my abuse of diet pills.  She recommended a place but I didn't really like the place and it was too expensive anyway.  That’s when I Googled and found your addiction advice service. Thanks for helping me to find a centre that matched my budget and offered what I needed. Joan R, London, England, UK.

My husband’s drinking problem wasn't really obvious when we first met, but developed over the years.  He was always able to keep a job and so denied that he had a problem, but eventually things got so bad at home that I had to move out. It was then that he finally agreed to get help and we started looking for treatment.  There were so many places on offer on the Internet that we didn't know where to begin. Your caring, professional advice showed genuine concern in helping us make the right decision.  I’m pleased to say that my husband completed treatment and has been sober for six months today.  Our lives have improved in ways I didn't think would be possible and we’re finding new enjoyment in our daily routines. Thank you for your help.  Judy F. Durban, KZN, South Africa.

Thank you for your excellent intervention services this weekend. I’m sure we would never have had the positive results if you had not been involved. In fact I think we would have done a lot of the wrong things and not have had any results at all! You were right about the fact that Susan is the weakest link and your education around co-dependency and what we could be doing as a family to provide a ‘unified front / all singing from the same hymn sheet’ was really helpful.  Instead of the angry resistance that we were expecting Henry agreed to enter treatment immediately, just as you had predicted!  This new approach to Henry’s addiction is already showing positive results and we hope that you will be available in the future if we need you to ensure we’re on the right track. Henry is now 2 weeks into his rehab and has a whole new attitude. We will see.. I hope Henry continues to co-operate for now and that there will not be too much more drama because I am getting very tired of it all. Jeremy is back in Cape Town and Steven left for France last night. I know this is the beginning of all the hard work for Henry and he will not like it and probably drop out. But maybe I'll have a few more weeks to catch my breath before we have to get into action again! Thank you again, and I’ll keep you posted in the future! Kind regards Dorothy S. Jo'burg, Gauteng, South Africa.

I would like to thank you for the addiction advice and support you gave me, when I needed it most. I was desperate and had nowhere to turn to! I contacted you and within half an hour you had arranged an assessment the very next day for me. I attended the appointment and realized that I was on the right track. The counsellor who spoke to me gave me even more hope, to recover from my alcohol problem. Please feel free to give my number to any person who needs to know how to go about seeking help. I needed help and you helped me find it. Peter H. Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

How are you? Well I hope, and taking advantage of the rest of your summer! Here its biting cold... Despite this, morale is good. I'm coming near the end of my treatment, and you were in my thoughts. Going back into treatment and giving myself a last chance was the best decision I ever made, and I am grateful to my HP every day. The drug addiction clinic that you recommended is a unique place that is hard to describe in words. But I will try. I have never in my life come across a place so full of love, constant care, and that gives ongoing support from every point of view. It has been just amazing. Thanks to being back in recovery, I go to bed every night clean, I have my family in my life in a away I have never had them before (not even when I was a child or first in recovery), and I have found people who actually care and accept me for me. It has helped me start doing the same for myself. Makes me want to cry.. I guess I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Okay, enough feelings for one email-- take good care, Gareth, stay safe and we'll be in touch, I'm sure.

"When you're in the middle of addiction, you never quite realise just what you're missing. I now have a life and a future. There was no way I could have said that just 3 short months ago. My dad was instrumental in my getting the treatment I needed to get into recovery, he called and made the first steps I was too blind to make myself. got me the right treatment and kept me on the recovery path when I was about to leave rehab. It's early days still, but they've given me a life I never thought possible. I’m regularly attend AA & NA meetings, have a home group, a sponsor and sponsee’s even a service position. Thanks again!" Gary R. Gauteng, South Africa.

"As a parent, I was just so scared for my daughter. I found online and they understood my fears and gave me tangible, practical and very real solutions. Together, we found a way to help my daughter get treatment and keep her clean & sober. Not only am I proud of my daughters achievements in recovery, but I'm proud of myself for having the courage to reach out and find her the help she needed." Greta M. Jo’burg, South Africa

"Reaching out for help is the hardest thing for most addicts and alcoholics. I was oblivious to just how bad my addiction to drugs and alcohol had become. My mother and wife contacted and arranged for them to assess my needs. It's was only their skilful and delicate approach that got me to agree to 'try' rehab at a treatment center near our home. I realise today that if my wife and mother hadn't asked for help I'd probably still be drinking and using. I am deeply indebted to and also to my family for reaching out and making that first contact. Any contact is good contact when it starts the process of recovery. A huge part of my alcoholism treatment was the counselling team’s ability to help me remove the roadblocks I had to put in place to benefiting from the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Whilst I knew I had a drinking problem (a small one, one that my family went on about a little too much – talk about delusional!) and I knew about AA it was the clinical teams ability to re-frame my alcoholic experiences in such a light that I became highly motivated to work the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I can honestly say today that as useful as treatment was, once I’d left rehab and become engaged in the 12 step fellowships, the 12 steps are what have actually saved my life! Bravo to Bill W. & Dr. Bob and all the other old-timers that have paved the way for people like me who are new to recovery from alcoholism through the 12 steps program. I’m coming up for 2 years clean & sober thanks for and the AA program." – Greg H. Johannesburg, South Africa.

"I used to believe it was just me that struggled with my addiction. In reality the harm I caused was tearing my family apart. When was contacted by my family for an intervention everyone came together and my family got a clear understanding of my addiction and what they had to do to get me to take responsibility for my alcoholism. My family showed immense strength and love. I accepted treatment and have been in recovery for 5 years now. We've actually never been happier!" John W. Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

"I used to believe it was just me that struggled with my addiction. In reality the harm I caused was tearing my family apart. When was contacted by my family for an intervention everyone came together and my family got a clear understanding of my addiction and what they had to do to get me to take responsibility for my alcoholism. My family showed immense strength and love. I accepted treatment and have been in recovery for 5 years now. We've actually never been happier!" John W. Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with Gareth when my brother required an intervention for his alcohol & gambling addiction. From the very first interaction I found Gareth to be extremely professional and well organised. From providing preliminary information for us to read through to making himself available at time outside of normal working hours to prepare for this stressful event, the quality of his service was always superb. His knowledge and skills were the key factor in the successful outcome of our families’ problems. I cannot recommend more to anyone who requires assistance with addiction counselling and intervention. Regards Dr. J S MBChB, MPhil, PhD - Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

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Recovery from addiction meets global pandemic: Ten ways to stay safe, sane and sober.

The word on everybody’s lips is Covid-19, and with this comes the “new normal” – not just a changed way of life but the anxiety and uncertainty that seem part and parcel of this this altered reality.

It may be worthwhile taking a leaf out of the old book. Which book? Well, the big book actually, that genius collection of words written by Bill W, the one that has helped so many people move from the chaos of active addiction into serenity. Who better to look to for guidance now than those who have experience in making it through tough times.

1. First things first

Acceptance is the key. It is never easy accepting things that feel uncomfortable or that deviate from our view of normal. Surrender is often seen as weakness or failure when in fact it is the complete opposite. People in recovery from addiction have accepted that they cannot control the use of a substance and this acceptance allows them to move forward and onto better and healthier lives.

In the wake of the pandemic we are all suddenly faced with a new reality that now includes extended periods of isolation, job losses and high levels of anxiety amongst other scenarios. If we look at things as they are, warts and all, we empower ourselves to move forward. It may be daunting at the onset but removing our rose tinted glasses and clearly seeing the obstacles ahead allows us the opportunity to map a new course and navigate the terrain successfully.

2. Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Ever hear the saying that prevention is better than cure? True story and in order to prevent heading down a slippery slope we can take care of four states of being and in doing so prevent a long walk off a short pier. H.A.L.T. - Hungry, angry, lonely and tired. If you can master balancing these four states then you will function from a better space and allow yourself to make better choices.

Balance helps to prevent relapse in recovery and it can help to keep a level head in these ever changing times.

Remember that self-care is not selfish and that your cup should run over. What is in the cup is for you and keeps you functioning at an optimal level, what runs over is for the people you love.

3. I think I can, I think I can… I know I can

Thomas the steam train repeats this little mantra as he chugs up the hill with his less than powerful engine. And every now and again he stops and wonders if he will ever make it up.

We stumble, we lose power and we sometimes want to give up. In recovery this applies to one and all. There are days and then there are days but the secret lies in remembering that progress and not perfection is the objective. One shaky footstep in front of the other is what is required. Falling is mandatory but so is getting up.

As the littlest steam engine teaches young children that life is a forward motion and that you can do anything you set your mind to, it also serves as a valuable lesson to all of us that we are not perfect and that we can make it up that hill even if we have to gain some bumps and bruises along the way.

4. Life on life’s terms

There is no way around it, over it or under it, the only way is through. We cannot control what life throws at us but we can choose how we face the challenge.

In recovery, people must learn to cope with the sometimes devastating blows that life delivers without the use of substances to numb them and so too in this pandemic we need to learn to walk along side difficult situations instead of running from them.

Kahlil Gibran, the author of the prophet says “there can be no joy without sorrow” and if we think on this we may realize that we most enjoy the sunshine after a few days of heavy rain.

Resilience in the face of current adversity will serve us all well now and in the future beyond this pandemic.

5. Your power lies in right now.

In early recovery people wonder if they will succeed, the magnitude of long-term sobriety seems monumental and it may be overwhelming. They are motivated to adopt the view of “one day at a time” because this keeps them in the present and really helps when it comes to dealing with life’s issues as and when they occur instead of trying to predict what might happen.

We cannot possibly know the duration or the exact impact of the pandemic on our lives in the future but what we can do is to stay focused and continue to do the next right thing for ourselves and those around us.

You may also want to consider the question; how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

6. You can only keep what you have by giving it away.

It goes without saying that those on the road to recovery from addiction probably found the path with directions from someone else. Service to others is a key principal in recovery and can help during this pandemic too.

Sharing the pain and experiences of our pasts or even current circumstance may serve as a survival guide for someone else in the future. Many people are struggling with anxiety or loneliness and a host of different feelings and a very simple way to be of service is to ask someone how they are doing. Lend an ear. Nobody has all the answers but what we do have is the capacity to be present and to help another human being feel heard.

When we take the time to share and hold space for another we not only help them but keep sight of our own goals at the same time.

7. Gratitude turns what we have into enough – anonymous

It is very easy to get lost in an “oh poor me” state of mind. Because yes, sometimes life is tough and hands us lemons when what we really want is lemonade. And a lot of the time it’s just easier to complain about all that’s wrong with the world instead of seeing what’s right.

Easier does not always equal better. When you start to really dig deep and take stock of all the things you have to be grateful for you will begin to see that it is a powerful catalyst for happiness.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude and make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for and review that list daily, you will be surprised at how many more things you’ll find to add when you do this. Pay it forward, tell someone else what you appreciate about them and why you are grateful for them.

8. To truly live is an awfully big adventure

A house without a solid foundation is bound to blow away with the slightest of storms. Those in recovery from addiction understand that taking care of the small things now helps to take care of the big things in the long run. Laying a solid foundation strengthens resolve and resilience.

We would do well, in the grips of this Covid catastrophe to turn inward and find all of the bits and pieces that we feel are lacking or that hold us back and to use this time to work on them. That may mean working on a relationship, making more time for your creative side or learning new forms of meditation.

9. Better together

Addiction and pandemics share a common thread of disconnection and isolation, neither of which serve any human being well on an emotional level. We all need community and a feeling of togetherness. Innovative technology has made it possible for us all to remain connected in some way during this time – whether it’s as simple as a phone call or text message or a video chat. Keep connected to your support base or your tribe. We are stronger together.

10 Normal who?

Normal is in the eye of the beholder. It is as close to a crime as one can find, this obsession with normal. The pursuit of normalcy has put out the fire and dampened the scene on so many lives. The old saying goes “why strive to fit in when you were born to stand out”. When we allow ourselves to embrace the pieces that we are ashamed of we open ourselves up to growth.

Normal is as normal does and as long as you are taking care of yourself, striving towards a healthier existence and remain mindful then you are doing just fine.
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