A Parents Review of Sanctuary Lodge

For years my son has been fighting the illness of addiction. For much of that time we really had no idea what we were dealing with. From the ‘professionals’ we were under the impression was he was up against depression but it went deeper than that. The treatment he was having for depression was far away from anything that he needed to help with the true fight.

We spent thousands on getting him what we believed was the right treatment. The penny never really dropped as to the truth. When it did we had no idea what to do, where to go or who to speak with. All we knew was that the years of pain (on both sides) could no longer continue. I don’t even know to this day how we survived those years. 

My son equally was at the point of no return. His illness had completely taken hold and the wonderful, warm hearted, kind and loving boy we raised was missing. We were heartbroken and he was sick….we just didn’t realise how sick.

Things came to a head and he (as well as us) came to the same conclusion at the same time…..for him to have a chance at getting back control on his life something drastic was needed. The questions was ‘what’?

His illness had peaked and we believe if we hadn’t taken the course we collectively did that he may not be here with us today. The desire for this change in his life needed to come from him first and foremost. Fortunately he had reached that point.

I was frantically surfing the net. I can’t even tell you what I was looking for but out of the midst of the multitude of sites I visited, one stood out. I cannot explain why…it just did. I came to believe that something inexplicable was guiding me in that moment. To this day I truly believe that to be the case.

Sanctuary Lodge, Essex became my son’s ‘home’ for 28 days followed by an additional 28 days in their ‘half way house’ ‘Fenton Lodge’. It was here we all learned the truth behind his illness and what needed to happen for my son to meet this illness head on and fight to get control back of his life. We came to realise that we didn’t ‘cause’ the illness, couldn’t ‘control’ it nor could we ‘cure’ it. We often blamed ourselves but with the support of Sanctuary Lodge we came to understand we did not.

We also came to understand that we had a right to be safe and to live our lives whilst at the same time, he would find his way to ‘recovery’. All we knew was that our lives had been ‘on hold’ for so many years. All this could only be achieved with the help of the right professionals in the right supportive environment.

Sanctuary Lodge provided all the support and learning for my son to come to understand the changes he needed to make in his life to find his way to ‘recovery’. It was hard work and a huge commitment on his part but they held him through the process and guided him.

For us we found the right support to help us understand the changes we needed to make in order to regain control over our lives. There is a fantastic support system/ network for us as well as our son. We needed this as much as he did.

It has now been a few weeks since he came home. There are commitments he has to remain strong to but Sanctuary Lodge continues to provide the after care and strong support network. We have found for the first time we are starting to feel ‘safe’. We know it won’t be an easy road but we also now know that we have a right to live our lives and do the things WE want to do.

Our son is responsible for his recovery….the support, tools and networks are all there for him. Without the care and backing of Sanctuary Lodge our lives would be miserable. Now we have hope and the strength to do the right thing.

We have come to understand we cannot continue to fear the consequences of the illness of addiction. Before traveling this road never a day passed when we weren’t consumed/ overwhelmed by the devastation addiction caused. Today we feel stronger than ever. The change must come from the person suffering from addiction. They and they alone are the only ones who can survive the illness….we cannot save our son.

Without Sanctuary Lodge we would not have come to a place of ‘relative’ peace. I say ‘relative’ because we equally are still learning and making the adjustments to our lives. Even though our son is no longer an in- patient we continue to benefit from the ‘after care’ (as does our son).

A powerful journey to date and one that continues. We’re just thankful we found ‘Sanctuary Lodge’. As hard as the road is, we are finding our way back! Equally, we know that our son could face a relapse…..the illness cannot be cured but we do know that he has learned what he must do to remain in ‘recovery’ and regain his life. It took the work at Sanctuary Lodge to show him the way.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Thank you to all staff of Sanctuary Lodge. You are not only helping to save our son but to also give us back our lives!

Signed: A Parent