Just back from Guildford where I finally managed to catch up with Stix. She was the first admission I ever did at the rehab and one of those people I fell in love with almost at first sight. It’s a potentially tricky balancing act to cross that boundary – I was staff and she was a client – but I’m glad I trusted my instincts and kept in contact with her. We’ve been meaning to meet up for ages but every single time something has come in the way, so we were long overdue a catch-up. Stix is coming up to her one year sober and the light that came on so blindingly bright at rehab is still shining brightly – she is happily, joyfully sober and is now sponsoring others via AA, CA and NA. It’s so good to see and makes me so happy.
Once again though, the miserably low success rate of recovery was painfully clear. Out of the people Stix got to know during her stay at rehab – roughly 30 people who were there at the same time – all but TWO have relapsed. That’s a bleak number. If that’s representative at all, the failure rate for rehab (or that particular one at least) is 93%. Would you pay in excess of £10,000 for a month’s treatment on the basis that you have a 7% chance of getting well? That’s way lower than the success rate for using willpower alone, and anyone who knows anything about recovery will tell you that willpower as a tool for overcoming addiction ain’t the way to go. It’s shocking. And someone died. In fact, the guy who passed away (as a result of going on yet another bender, unsurprisingly) was the guy who was meant to be my first admission but who ended up being shipped to A&E instead. Stix came in just a day or two later and became my maiden voyage instead. Out of that particular group, out of all those people, only two of them are still sober and clean. She said a handful keep trying but the majority have just gone back to drinking and using and given up on sobriety entirely.
Hardly groundbreaking news that addicts relapse and addicts die, but fuck me – that really rammed it home for me. Something has to change. Something needs to really fucking CHANGE. It makes me fucking furious. The people who run these places will tell you that they give addicts the best possible shot at recovery when in actual fact you stand greater chance of getting sober not trying any method at ALL.
Gather ’round, people! What can we do about this? Let’s change this NOW. Someone has to. It has to be now and it has to be us. Who’s with me?
I’m recruiting one of my favourite people – I need a nickname for her but can’t come up with one. She’s Scottish, tiny, super smart, all round fucking sound, cute as a button and so lovely I want to pinch her. I’m drawing a blank here. Pinch? Because she’s small and a pinch of something is a small amount, no? Like a pinch of chilli powder though – small but packs a good punch! OK, we have a gangster name – all the nicknames I end up with sound like gangster names, have you noticed? Today we have Stix and Pinch. Fabulous!
So Pinch is a therapist and because I have no skills or qualifications to speak of I need to steal her expertise and kind of ride on her coat tails here. Pinch knows her stuff so I need to pick her clever brain and see if I can railroad her into spearheading a new addiction recovery movement. My cunning plan has officially begun, just texted her to say we need to change the world now. She’s probably rolling her eyes wondering how she can get rid of me.
Ideas? Thoughts? We know of a bunch of ways that work for people, so how do we combine it all somehow or communicate accurately to people like Drunk Me what awaits on the other side?
Today I’m not doing to drink.