John’s Journey with GEAAP

After numerous failed attempts to cut down my levels of alcohol intake I finally woke up on the morning of the 4th March 2015 and decided today was the day.

I had been a heavy drinker since my teenage years and things were beginning to get out of control. Alcohol was becoming my “go to” for every problem I had. Be that work or personal, alcohol was my method of escape. It had very, very quickly become a serious issue. Well for me it had and I realised I needed to do something about it.

Now I’m not a fan of the phrases “alcohol recovery” or “alcoholic”. That’s not to say these phrases don’t have a place in some people’s lives. They didn’t have a place in my life. I wasn’t going to go to an AA meeting to be told I mustn’t drink and that for the rest of my life I would have to attend such meetings to be happy again. I decided to visit the doctor and let him know that I had made my decision to stop drinking alcohol and that it was for the rest of my life. I wanted to rid myself of the mental and physical torture, the control it had over me.

The doctor suggested an immediate course of vitamins and supplements to help with the initial “withdrawal” that I would inevitably face. This lasted for one week and then I stopped taking them. I felt fine and I was on the way to being a better person.

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Someone To Talk To

Whilst at the doctors I had asked what help was out there and where I could go to ask questions and seek answers. I was referred to NEAT (North East Addiction Team). It took a couple of months for an appointment to come through but when it eventually did I went along just to see what it was all about.

The nurse very quickly realised I was not in need of any medical or mental assistance and discharged me as “Ok”. Whilst there having not had a drink in over 3 months she asked me what I wanted. My answer which was very simple was that I wanted to speak to someone who could let me know how on earth a male in his 30’s in the west of Scotland was going to remain alcohol free with the huge level of temptation out there. This is what led me to the doors of GEAAP and that’s where I met Winnie.

When I first pulled up in my car outside GEAAP I very nearly reversed back out thinking there was no chance anyone in this building was going to understand me or be able to talk to me in a way that I would understand. How wrong I was.


They Listen and Let You Talk

Previous half-hearted attempts at alcohol recovery had seen me spend over £500 in the Priory listening to a man tell me how wonderful he was. I was pleasantly surprised when the first words out of Winnie the councillors mouth were “so what do you want to talk about” this was not what I was expecting but this calm and non-judgemental approach is exactly what I needed.

I had already made the difficult choice to stop drinking and had managed nearly four months, so in my mind I was in a better place. What I didn’t have was the knowledge and the tools to make sure that 4 months of alcohol recovery could turn into 4 years and beyond. This is what GEAAP offer.

They do not judge you, they listen and let you talk. Anyone who knows me will understand the patience Winnie must have had because apparently, I like to talk.

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Do you have a question about our Counselling services, or just need some advice? Click here to get in touch with the team.

Giving Something Back

Over the next 12 months I met regularly with Winnie at GEAAP and we explored all the demons in my mind and she had suggestions / or a way of looking at things that really registered with me. I always left feeling energised and full of hope and ambition.

I really can’t thank the entire team at GEAAP enough for everything they did for me and what they do for all of their clients. I wanted to give something back to such a great organisation which is why I am the current Chairman of the Board and have been for over a year now. Even though my day to day life is full with my own business and family life I make sure I give what time I can to GEAAP because in my mind it’s the most amazing organisation of its kind and without it I wouldn’t have the rest.


Need Some Advice?

If you are struggling with alcohol and would like to speak to one of our counsellors, or simply have a question about our services please get in touch.

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