Louise's Recovery Story

I felt, and perhaps I was, a lost case and a very lost human being when I entered the healing gates of Camino Recovery.

I was full of fear, anxiety, anger and shame.

I was raging inside against myself and against everyone around me. Overwhelmed by emotions, I was not even aware of how pervasively they were digging inside my soul and spirit. I was decimated by self-doubt and doubt about yet another treatment centre and yet another psychotherapeutic process awaiting ahead.

There are few words to describe the levels of despondency, desperation, disillusion and spiritual depletion that were eating me alive. So, in a nutshell, for the past 3 years, I had been surviving on the bedrock of what some call LIFE, immersed in both chemical and behavioural addictions.

And for the 15 years before those 3 rock-bottom years, I was simply and sadly functionally free-floating in life without recognising the steep dangerous slope on which I was sliding down, surrounded by numbing behaviours, pills, thoughts and liquids.

The people in Camino Recovery, all of them, every single individual with whom I interacted for 90 days, saved my life, and saved me for life, although they would answer back to me that I did all the work. Possibly. However, I would never have been able to do this fantastic emotional work without them opening their doors, hearts and arms to welcome me inside this shame-and-judgement-free space of (seriously personalised) care, understanding and professionalism.

The therapeutic approach of the core team in Camino Recovery and the sheer volume of knowledge and experience, not only in addiction, but in every aspect of the human emotional and cognitive anatomy that is underlying and triggering addiction, are highly effective.

Recovery for me is now a pleasure – a different, healthier and fulfilling lifestyle. My initial exposure to reality when I came out of Camino Recovery was manageable, and the intense emotional charge associated with my shameful memories and past traumas has drastically diminished, due to EMDR, one-to-one and group therapies. Also, the equine, wellness, spiritual, and art practices broke through my shield of stubbornness and self-righteousness and showed me how much better I can BE and feel as a human being.

I have discovered a life beyond substance addiction and self-destructive behaviours and thoughts, which is out there for me to grab and enjoy.

Now I can look in the eyes of my daughter and see her happiness and her glorious shine because I am free to be there, to be emotionally available to her and to the people I love. And it is my daily task to keep up this momentum; it takes energy, and personal investment and commitment, but I chose to invest energy in enjoying glorious and peaceful days of recovery, rather than enjoying the dark days of a lonely affair with substances.