28th February 2020

A Life in Third by Jeremy, 10 months sober

Jeremy, who spent almost six months at Broadway Lodge for alcohol addiction, has achieved over ten months sobriety. Now in third stage, he is currently living in one of our dry houses located in Bristol and has written a beautiful and insightful account of his present life. Thank you for sharing Jeremy.

 

A Life in Third

So, here I am in late February with a coffee. Sat quietly, the radio on softly in the background. The song that just played stirred a memory. A good one this time. And they are always welcome.

I am sat at a table in my house. A Broadway Lodge House.

The sun at last has come out today, I see birds flitting about if I look in the garden. Today is a good day.

My name is Jeremy, and I am an alcoholic. I am 52 years old. Had my first drink aged 12. And today I am sober. I have been for 10 Months and 2 days. Unbelievable. Life doesn’t get much better than that right?

I spent just shy of six months in Broadway Lodge. A time and a place I will never forget and completed Primary, and Extended Care. I was one of the lucky few. Funding is expensive. Really expensive. I don’t know why I was so fortunate, but I know it has not just saved my life. It’s changed my life beyond the words I can write here.

And now I’m a resident in Broadway Lodge’s Third Stage of their treatment programme. And I am grateful.

I left Broadway Lodge in early November, and I can remember being so scared. It’s a big wide world out there.

So one of the amazing staff at Broadway brought me to the other house (there are two of them) with my suitcase and various junk I’d accumulated mainly from charity shops.

And then this phase began.

It was an expectation I engage in the fellowship of my choice. All the things that I’d heard of the four suggested things. Go to meetings, get a sponsor, do service, learn the 12 steps.

Learning something new was also advised. As was giving back, the ultimate act of service in taking on voluntary work.

As an alcoholic of my type (the helpless and hopeless variety) I do not have much choice. In fact I have no choice as I am out of options. My life depends on it.

What Broadway Lodge Third Stage has given me, is the time, the love, the support and encouragement I need to do all the above.

That comes from weekly house meetings and group therapy. One-to-ones and regular contact with Broadway Lodge.

Only last week I felt like I was waving the flag with the power of Broadway Lodge as the engine room.

The house I’m in at the moment has recently been refurbished. It is a beautiful place to be, and to live. A safe haven and it has a power all of itself. Especially with what goes on behind closed doors.

“Dry house” living. Shared, supported accommodation. I’ve only ever lived with a partner. Or a parent.

Currently there are three of us here. We have a fourth tomorrow. And once the other house is also refurbished, that leaves room for four more. “It could be you!” as Ant and Dec say in the winter.

This place is not what I thought it would be.

By being open, safe, doing my bit, I’m not just surviving in the world, I am thriving and growing. And not just that, me and my housemates have a right laugh too. We take this seriously, course we do, we all have a fatal illness. But we find our own path in recovery with love (tough love needed sometimes), support, hard work and a bellyful of the joys of recovery daily. Some days are better than others. Some days are just that. Days.

But living here in Broadway Third Stage, I am respected, liked, and loved. Guided, supported.

I start a Health and Social Care college course on Friday. It’s my home group in the fellowship tomorrow where I will be making tea for like minded people. Earlier than that I will be giving two hours of my time back, talking to fellow alcoholics and addicts at a recovery cafe as a “trained peer”. I’m no different. I just wear a badge.

I’d been on a course in Bristol with a fantastic organisation called “Julian House”. They gave me a ruined old bike, and showed me how to repair and refurbish it. That bike is now safe and usable. A worthwhile use of my time for sure and was a load of fun too.

Earlier today I had news that a dream voluntary job in a local hospital will be put back for a few months. Their duty of care which I respect and am grateful for want me to be a bit more enmeshed in my recovery. To keep me safe.

People care about me. They always did.

And today as I sit here, sober (big difference between being sober and abstinent), I am more at peace with myself and the world than I have ever been.

For today I care about me too.