I became an addict because I became friends with people that were experimenting with drugs. My drug became hash and I ended up a smoker for about 25 years. Some of my friends died and some survived along the way.
I’d like people to understand that there’s no one that is an addict for no valid reason. It may start out as a way into socialising and connecting with other people, but at its core, addiction numbs the feelings that are too much for a person to feel. In a perverted way, addiction becomes a friend, you can trust in it to deliver a result.
“Before I found New Life I was so depressed, angry and exhausted that I lost 20% of my body weight”
In the end I knew I had to get help. I tried a rehab center in Denmark but it was mainly for heroin addicts and alcoholics who had been sent there by the government. They really didn’t want to be there, they had so much resistance towards everything. I came of my own free will, but felt that it was impossible for me to recover without their support, so I left after a week, feeling very lost.
I started looking for a place to stay 24/7 to begin my recovery and found New Life Foundation from a Google search. I first came to New Life in September 2013 as a resident and have been back three times since then thanks to the scholarship programme.
The first few weeks were like ‘bliss’ for me. The support from people created a safe and warm feeling. Before I found New Life I was so depressed, angry and exhausted that I lost 20% of my body weight. I was no longer able to work. I lost the ability to function in society, completely isolated myself and ultimately thought of ending my own life.
“At New Life I found the perfect environment of caring and understanding people”
I had lost connection with my feelings and even when I stopped smoking hash, due to loss of income, it didn’t change anything. In fact it made the feelings even worse. So I came here with severe depression, anger and anxiety.
At New Life I found the perfect environment of caring and understanding people, combined with teachers that understood my situation. The life coaching twice a week was crucial to my recovery. It allowed me to get an understanding of my inner self and to get to the root of the problems I had. Great tools were given to me by the teachers so I could keep on working with myself between sessions.
Alongside life coaching, the workshops were also fantastic, practical exercises to tap into and learn new ways of being. The fact that New Life is NOT an institution also allowed me to sit down and cry anytime and anywhere. People would come forward and comfort me in an understanding way. I just felt so safe and within a very short time, I found my self laughing from my heart, something I hadn’t done in many years.
“I was in no position to be able to afford a programme like this”
Happiness was regained through gratitude which became a new ‘friend’ in my life. I have learned that gratitude is the foundation for happiness. I really appreciate the level of understanding that is within New Life and the fact that recovery happens without any pills!
Without the scholarship programme, none of this would have happened. I was in no position to be able to afford a programme like this. The generosity of the scholarship literally changed my life, and I would not be in a position to return for emotional ‘tune-ups’ without it.
“If I had one piece of advice for anyone considering recovery, it would be come to New Life!”
The other key aspect of New Life that changed my perspective was the mindfulness practices. I had studied a little of the Buddhas teachings in the past, but I never did put mindfulness into practice before I came to the foundation. Mindful working meditation every day is a very fine way to implement and exercise mindfulness in my daily life. I learned to exercise will power through mindfulness practices, and to reach out to people during tough times.
Mindfulness also helps me to stay grounded and to keep the connection with my inner child. If I get angry I know that my inner child feels hurt in some way, so I have to sit down and reconnect with myself in order to behave mindfully again, rather than reactively. At times I find it a little challenging when other people choose not to respect the few rules there are at New Life. I know from experience that they are in place to support everyone here, but I try to live by example.
If I had one piece of advice for anyone considering recovery, it would be come to New Life!
As a non-profit foundation, we are reliant on the support of paying volunteers and the generosity of our donors and supporters. Last year we were able to offer 28 scholarships thanks to your valued contributions. We need 900,000 baht ($25,000) in order to offer 3 full scholarships per month, with the average length of scholarship being approx. 3 months. Please help us to maintain the scholarship program for 2016 by sponsoring a resident.
Read more inspiring New Life testimonials: