Being one of the longest standing and oldest clients and experienced volunteer, I asked Graham about the evolution of TBRP:
“I got to The Basement through a referral from CSMS (Calderdale Substance Misuse Service); I’d been in addiction for about four years, slowly crept into it from being a heavy drinker to a problem drinker to dependency. I don’t use the ‘blame game’ but I had a lot of stress with a high stressful job; addiction got hold.
I was referred after being through the CSMS twice, before that two home detox’s from the doctor, but the mental obsession was still there; I couldn’t stop. I went down to The Basement, it was a new thing that had just started, it had only been going about four months, it was very small.
I was enrolled into the groups after my assessment, I did the pre-recovery (part of the Recovery Programme) but still drinking so they arranged a detox’ for me at TTP in Bradford but I never got there. I collapsed two days before I was supposed to go, I was paralysed from the waist down, my liver had failed, I had sepsis, I had ‘wet brain’ and I went into a five-week coma.
I came out of the coma luckily with the great help from the medical profession, I was house-bound through physical mass; I was only eight-and-something stone, could not walk, using a Zimmer frame. The mental torture through the obsession because I couldn’t get a drink, was unbearable. When I eventually had the strength to get out of the house I went straight back to The Basement and went straight on to the Abstinence part of the programme, I just sat, listened and learned about what was wrong with my head.
The Basement then was a very small place; I was in the second group from the off-set. It has evolved a great deal in the four-and-a-half years since then, but it has evolved in a way that first; it’s always for the benefit of the client and second, it hasn’t gone too quickly and burned itself out. The leadership of the Basement and the staff work as a brilliant team, the knowledge with them being in recovery themselves is of tremendous help.
The evolution and the expansion has been slow, methodical but right; it’s been done at a pace which has been beneficial to staff and clients and everybody involved. The Basement stood alone when I first started, now, because of its reputation, its achievements which are documented in figures and facts; other services are now working in line and closely with the Basement which was the Basement’s theory and objectives all along.
I just hope that the Basement carries on expanding as it’s doing, slowly but correctly and using all its knowledge to help others like it helped me.
Article by Richard
Article featured in RecoveryTimes issue 7