Kia ora, my name's Tim. I'm an alcoholic.
I always felt like I didn't quite fit in. I was never able to drink safely. People were telling me to stop drinking, but I, but I couldn't. I tried to and I wanted to, and it was a really dark place to be in and I was really starting to um, get sick, get really, really unwell.
I remember sitting on the banks of the Hokianga Harbour, absolutely in tears, despair, hated my life. 38 years old and I walked back up the hill, I remember that walk, this long walk back up the hill to the hospital and I went and talked to the um, doctor. I said “it's my drinking, I can't stop drinking no matter what I do”.
So and that's where it changed, she said, “look, we've got a um, mental health and addiction service here at the hospital um and I’d like you gotta have a chat with them and talk about it.” I thought, um, after, you know, three months that I would be, I was physically right, I was going to be able to do this and I had one drink. It just escalated again real quickly.
I'd been drinking for about two months again and this nurse came along and she said to me, “Hey Tim, would you like to go to rehab?” By then I was, I felt, um, like I hit rock bottom and I didn't know what to do and I said, yeah, I'll be keen to go to rehab.
Talked about this place called Higher Ground. They were really welcoming. Some of them had come um, out of Higher Ground and done their treatment and I'd look at them and I was like, wow, you know, it's quite intimidating, quite scary actually. Um, yeah, it was um, May 2019 when I walked in the doors of, of Higher Ground.
It's um, surreal, it was overwhelming, um…I was scared. This is at the same time as feeling excited. I tried to do it on my own, but here's um, a place that actually wants to help me. People um, listen to your story, they relate to your story, they seem to get me when I thought no one else ever got me. I found it ah, hard to cry in front of others or able to express my anger in a healthy way. In about three months in, it’s if, I felt like I'd actually let go. It wasn't that easy, but I remember it coming naturally. It, it just felt like a release.
You'll be welcomed into the therapeutic community as one, as a whole, as a whānau.
I'd say those feelings of being scared and nervous are real and that um, it's OK to feel like that. You'll be welcomed into the therapeutic community as one, as a whole, as a whānau. I'm growing so coming back here, work as a support worker and at the age of 43 going back to study with the support around me, I've got this and, and the belief in myself.
Yeah, I can do this. I can have a go at this.
Week days are pretty structured.
From 6AM – 10PM there is always somewhere to be and something to do. You’ll be sharing kai, karakia, doing house duties, groups and 1:1 therapy. You’ll also learn kapa haka, waiata, do some physical activity and have some free time.
You’ll go to AA/NA meetings, Multiple Family Group and sometimes attend Noho Marae. You also go out to 12 Step meetings a few times a week.
People um, listen to your story, they relate to your story, they seem to get me when I thought no one else ever got me.