"A Journey That Started as a Curse, But Ended as A Blessing"
It's Friday, the 30th July 2021, the time 10:43 AM. I am ready to write my testimonial. At first I thought this should not be too hard. After all, I am giving an account of the experience which I earned. TWO hours should suffice! How mistaken I was! It took me two days. It had to. For the journey has been intense and loaded with alot of stuff I had to let go. Alot of stuff I accumulated for over 20 years. Alot of it baggage. Alot of it loss. Alot of it regret. Alot of it resentment. Most of all, alot of it alcohol.
In the Welcome Notes I received when arriving at Elim Clinic I read an interesting line. The line was "Elim Clinic is a safe haven, but it is still part of a broken world". I was one of the people that didn't want to be at Elim. I looked around and saw no safe haven at all. But I had no choice. My family decided I must go to rehab. I had told them before coming to Elim that my problem was alcohol. They told me my problem was drugs. And not alcohol. They believed it so much, that I can vividly still see their faces filled with that conviction. I've never ever been to rehab. Or a place like Elim. I mostly sought help from psychologists and psychiatrists for over 20 years. And nothing, absolutely nothing ever worked. Throughout my high school years, my University years, and my professional working years. Nothing helped. That is until I went to Elim.
Elim Clinic did for me what many could not do. Elim made me realise that my affliction was always alcohol. My psychosocial challenges were as a result of an alcoholic addiction. Well I did do a drug test at Elim and it was negative. I shared this fact with the family. And reiterated that my problem is an alcoholic addiction. They still have not come to terms with that. Well some of them! Perhaps some of them cannot believe that such a social part of our existence, like alcohol can be a problem for a person. Alcoholism for some of them is a far-fetched concept and reality.
Well for me it's not. Alcoholism is real. As real as any other sickness. As real as any other disease. Elim's treatment program empowered me. It provided a courage that was dormant. And allowed me to truly know myself thoroughly. I did what the programme asked in earnest during my stay at Elim. So much so that by Day 10 of the 21 days I started to develop a PLAN for what I will be doing in RECOVERY after my time at Elim. This is where my RECOVERY PLAN took shape. And each and every day I not only do what is in my plan, but I also live and breathe it. And today I am 100 days sober and clean. To show that when you do the work in the plan consistently and honestly you will get the right results, I managed to find a new job. I start on the 2nd August at The City of Joburg.
Part of the programme I put in place was to join a support group. I am now a member of AA. I became a member immediately after I left Elim. I have made a recommitment to my faith. I have made a recommitment to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ. I have always been raised a Christian. I grew a Christian. I was baptised in a Roman Catholic Church. There only difference now is that I am beginning to have a spiritual experience. I have surrendered myself to a Higher Power. His will and not mine is how I live my life. Elim was the spark that re-ignited and revived my relationship with God. I have finally found inner peace. I value myself. There's a Joy in me again. A joy that never goes out. What a blessing. My becoming continues. God Bless!
Elim changed my life, If you put your trust in God and and commit to Elims Program you will not only be able to stop your addiction but you will have victory in life, I was there for heroin addiction, I have been clean for many years now and I still thank God for Elim clinic, I could never have done it myself.
Trust God, Trust Elim, and you can have a good life, there is Hope, you can do it too.
About 8 and a half years ago, I got home from a night out, a week before my 10 year anniversary of leaving school.
I was absolutely trashed from a heavy night of drinking, and as usual, I said I had only had one or two.
I had been at my old school for the Easter rugby festival, and unfortunately, it had ended in a bad way.
My entire school career I was bullied and treated with disrespect. Slightly overweight, not popular, not an academic or a sportsman and quite shy.
I was an easy target as I couldn't fight very well, and being at an all-boys school for 13 years, you needed to know how to fight.
Only after leaving school, making the wrong choices, being involved in a variety of immoral recreational activities, did I learn to fight. But I had a conscience. And the worse I did, the more I tried to drink the pain away. The drinking was done within a normal life, around friends who had no idea what I was involved in.
The more I hurt people, good, innocent people, the more I tried to drink the pain away. The more I drank, the more money I needed.
I rushed home one night and poured my heart out to my mother.
Unfortunately, I felt sorry for myself forever being born and proceeded to tell the one person in my life who had always been there for me, my mother, that I hated her forever giving birth to me.
I am a blessed man. This woman, whose heart I had just ripped out, told me that she loves me, without blinking. I think that's the most love I had ever felt in my entire life up until that point.
I told her I needed help and she arranged to get me into Elim Clinic.
I knew at that point in my life that if I didn't sober up, I was either going to end up in jail or dead. And with every last bit of energy I had, I focused on cleaning up my life. I soaked up every word from the staff at Elim. Focused on me. Did everything exactly as they taught me, and slowly over time (years) tweaked their teachings to suit my lifestyle without ever putting my sobriety at risk.
I got back into boxing and Muay Thai, and also took my focus into MMA and Brazilian Jui Jitsu (although never as an athlete in the last two.)
My coach took me under his wing and gave me a job when nobody else wanted to give me a chance. I started coaching boxing. I then received a second job, running a very small sports shop after I had proven my trustworthiness. Soon enough, I had my own boxing club, with nothing but one client.
Over the years we became one of the respected clubs on the east rand. And not long after that, I produced my first professional boxer, who made his debut on one of boxings biggest events of the year, the Southern Giant, and received Fight of the Night honours. I don't mention this to boast, I mention it because it only happened due to me taking all my energy that I invested into drinking and being a low life human, and put it into building the lives of other people through the only thing I felt I was good at, at the time.
During this time, I also met a beautiful woman. I am proud to say that 7 years later, my wife and I have two beautiful children, and she has supported me through all the heartache and triumphs of being in professional sport.
And when my brother died, and Covid ripped my gym apart, she was the pillar and strength, along with my mother and kids, to help me stay sober.
Today, I run a large retail store, in one of the largest franchise groups in the country. God answered all our prayers, in His own way, and has brought us to today.
Almost 9years sober. But every day is a decision. Every day I make a choice. I don't choose not to drink. I choose to remain sober. And there is a big difference between the two.
Choosing not to drink puts my focus on the drink and what I don't want to do. Choosing sobriety puts my focus on being the best version of who I am, without any thought of drinking.
I can't thank Elim enough for all the work and help they gave me in and out of the clinic. To this day I am in contact with one of my old therapists, and I am eternally grateful.