Martin and his parents story

Before: My addiction to alcohol started in my teens. I thought that as a young man and in employment which tolerated alcohol I didn’t have a problem. However, in the early 90s it became apparent that alcohol was becoming a major part of my life. It proceeded from evening drinking to lunchtime drinking and finally to drinking 24 hours a day. I tried to hide it from my employers but alarm bells were ringing. Eventually this led to me being dismissed from my employment. I held down a few jobs but drinking was still at the forefront of my life. This led to breakdown in relationships, unemployment, debt and eventually homelessness. I lived on the streets, then in hostels and B&Bs without holding any down for any great length of time. My hygiene and health deteriorated. In 2007 I was rushed into hospital because of liver damage. It was then I admitted to myself that I was an alcoholic.

During: Through outside help I was referred to LEAP (Lothians and Edinburgh Abstinence Programme) for rehab. I didn’t think at the beginning I would last long, but with support and a gradual return to self respect the programme helped me to have faith in myself without drink. I attended the programme for twelve weeks, travelling from home each day. I knew that this was helping me gain hope for myself and continued to give 100% to the programme knowing it was giving me a second chance.

After: After completing the course I now feel happy, clean and have hope for the future. Without this programme I would never have had a chance in life. I am grateful for the LEAP programme. I hope other alcoholics will benefit in the future as well.

Mother:

Before: Martin has drunk since he was a teenager. It took a long time before I accepted that he was an alcoholic. I kept thinking that he could stop if he wanted to. From the start his addiction has threatened his chances of leading a stable life. Too much drinking made prioritisation of life’s essentials impossible and this had a detrimental effect on his working life. The navy dealt with his drink problem until it reached a level where they could no longer continue and he was dismissed. After the navy, drink continued to ruin any chance he had of a normal lifestyle. Eventually the downward journey to alcoholism led to the streets, the hostels and finally to living alone in a flat, incapacitated because of drinking and alone because he wouldn’t see those who cared for him. His family were extremely worried about his future survival. I thought an early death was inevitable.

During: The Home Link Team were able to have Martin admitted to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital where he kept sober and as a consequence was accepted to the LEAP programme. Martin was now under effective supervision and monitoring. He could now see a future without drink and believe that he had a chance of recovery. Martin’s dedication to the programme was remarkable. Staying at home drinking was now replaced by setting off at 7.15 am, travelling across Edinburgh, participating all day in the full LEAP programme and returning after completion at 10.30pm. This in itself is a testimony to the quality of the programme. Martin wouldn’t even have considered attending an AA meeting before this. Now he was holding on to what seemed to be a lifeline.

After: I have been completely in awe of this whole experience. I thank God for Home Link and LEAP and the support they gave Martin to try one more time to conquer alcoholism. I have met the LEAP team and I was privileged to attend Martin’s graduation. I hope they get the necessary funding to continue with their great work. Martin will continue with the Aftercare programme, again further essential support and guidance to keep on the path to a future. Without LEAP this would never have happened. It is therefore essential that LEAP continue to be funded to save other Martins.

Father:

Before: Prior to participating in the LEAP programme Martin was totally unreliable. He had let me down many times and I had lost all hope of him being supportive to me or to his family. I was really disappointed that drink was ruining his life. He was unwashed and took no interest in his personal hygiene. His flat was filthy and beginning to show signs of deterioration. He was always short of money and needed substantial cash input from us. He was often left without electricity and had little money for food; all his money being used to buy alcohol and his health was poor. However, Martin did recognise what was happening to him and he was crying out for help – and it came. Thanks to Home Link and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital he was given an inroad to LEAP.

During: Right away the change began. He was now taking responsibility for his sobriety, was concerned for his well-being, monitoring his health, fitness and cleanliness. He began to manage his own finances better and was keen to clean up the flat. His self-respect was coming back. He faithfully attended LEAP each day which was a transformation. He was now working at becoming sober and adopted a different attitude. AA meetings were now to be sought after whereas before they had never even been considered.

After: I hope Martin will maintain his new lifestyle. He is now an asset to his family. He comes home regularly and helps with whatever work is ongoing. He is alert and looking forward to continuing his recovery and having a future.

Last Reviewed: 26/11/2012