Leah was helped by Gillian Ford of City Beacon
I met Gillian, in March 2009, regarding my husband’s cocaine and alcohol misuse. I felt anxious and didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t believe that simply talking about what was really going on for me would be as beneficial and life changing as it has been.
After the very first meeting with Gillian, I felt a huge sense of relief, I felt that I had been really listened to and understood. I had felt so isolated and anxious prior to our regular meet ups. I started to feel less fearful and alone.
I learned new skills such as putting boundaries down, with out feelings of guilt. I began to feel connected to myself once again; I made eye contact with people and began to feel included into society once more. Gillian also advised me of the importance of seeking help in support groups of relatives of addicts/alcoholics.
I also discovered that my life focused solely on my husband, everything revolved around what he was doing or not doing. After regular meetings with Gillian, I started to take the focus off of my husband and direct it on my own life. I started a college course and later went onto university. My husband also sought help for himself.
Life today is completely different. I have a deeper understanding of myself and others, a whole new insight. I feel privilege to have done the work that I have done with Gillian. I am emotionally more present for my children, myself and others around me. It felt like I was in a misty fog before, now I feel alive. I have gone from existing to truly living life.
My husband works in the City and he was bringing his octane levels of stress back home with him.
I was at my wit’s end. My family life seemed hopeless, our home was a battleground and everybody was in constant conflict. My husband has been in recovery from alcoholism for many years but at times his behaviour has been challenging and our children’s behaviour was also difficult for much of the time.
I felt like running away and I was very very angry most of the time. I was introduced to Gillian Ford who offered me understanding, compassion and helped me to make sense of the situation. For the first time after we met, I felt a sense of hope that I hadn’t felt for years and I felt as if I could start to breathe again.
Gillian rapidly helped me to recognise that I did not need to battle any more, that the war could be over if I chose. She showed me that there was a solution which included a myriad of other options that were more life enhancing than spending my days fighting with my husband or with our children!
I started to be able to put in healthy boundaries with the whole family which ultimately led to a peaceful home. As I learned the values of care and respect for myself I found that my stress and anxiety levels reduced and I felt happier.
Today life is very, very different and it is very, very good even if it is not always straightforward, I recognise that no situation is too hopeless to be improved. Gillian has helped me to explore my expectations and adjust them to reality. Without Gillian’s fantastic support and input I do not believe I would have gained the understanding of myself and my family situation that I have today.