Then and now: Gerard

In the new series "How are you doing now" we talk to former patients about the period they started treatment at Castle Craig. They tell about their experiences and how things are going now. The names have been changed, but their stories are real.

Gerard 34 (2012)

'For as long as I could remember I was angry. Especially angry with my mother. When I was ten, my parents got divorced. I stayed with my mother, who moved from one relationship to another. She was in love with being in love and if she had a new flame, which was always the case, she would not see me anymore. All attention was focused on the many men in her life. I had to figure it out, even making my own food and shopping. The money was then on the table. When I was 16, I found a job in the kitchen of a restaurant with heavy use and one thing led to another, resulting in an addiction that lasted almost 2 decades. On New Years Eve 2011, I sniffed so much that I almost stayed in it. It was high time I started doing something about it and in the spring of 2012 I joined Castle Craig in Scotland. During the group discussions it was soon found out that I was full of resentment. I thought it was great that this was discovered in me, because I hardly spoke about it. In the Big Book that I got in the castle, I read that resentment was the biggest trigger to start using. I had to get rid of that feeling. One day we got a talk from a therapist that included forgiveness. You forgave for yourself, not for the one you forgave. Because that way you got rid of that bad feeling you were walking around with.

Gerard 42 (2020)

I have remembered that. And a week after I got back from Castle Craig, I went to the nursing home where my demented mother was staying. I then took her in my arms and forgiven her for not being there for me in my youth. Maybe she didn't understand what I was saying, but she did cry. And I cried with her. Today I am eight years and two months clean & sober.