‘My name is Sandra*, and I have been alcohol and drug user for the last 30 years.’
‘My recovery began in 1999, when I was sentenced to two years’ rehabilitation. I went to numerous detox centres and rehabs, but none of them worked. Then I found myself in Tasmania, physically and mentally exhausted, and at the end of my tether.
I was admitted into the inpatient detox unit, where I was introduced to the Bridge Program. I completed an assessment, which was very informative and had a relaxed atmosphere – I did not feel judged. I started my first 10-week residential program, but I entered with the attitude that I knew it all! This was a hindrance to learning many of the tools and strategies in recovery that were being offered to me. So, as an addict who was in pain, I blamed everyone around me and started drinking again.
Almost a year to the day later, I found myself in hospital again and in a very dark place, mentally. This is when the staff at the Bridge worked diligently to help me focus again on the pathway to recovery. Coming back to the Bridge was a very anxious time for me, but all the staff were so happy to see me and went out of their way – as they do for all residents – to make me feel welcome.
We had daily groups on a wide range of topics. I found a variety of things that were beneficial for me in learning how to live without drugs. I was allocated a case worker, who guided me on the emotional rollercoaster ride of recovery. I felt safe at the Bridge Centre, so much so that on weekend leave, I couldn’t wait to get back.
After 10 weeks, the Bridge team don’t wave goodbye and leave you out in the cold. They have a really great after-care program, which I am involved in. I take care of the garden during the week and have weekly sessions with my case manager.’
*Sandra's name has been changed to protect her privacy.