Declan was discharged from hospital having spent a few weeks getting built up again.
On leaving hospital this was to be the first time Declan had admitted that drink was his problem and he was powerless over alcohol. He recalls telling Brenda that he was finished with drink.
Brenda had said to him, that all the time he had been hospitalised and in trouble with drink he had never once made such a statement.
Brenda had noticed this to be a change and for the first time felt a sense of relief and hope.
Declan entered the fellowship of AA and engaged in a 12 step programme with a newfound attitude and positive approach. The message was still the same, but this time he was prepared to listen and apply it to his living. He began to see very quickly that this was working for him and those around him.
Declan also availed of other services such as one to one counselling which he said enhanced the quality of his recovery and living.
On asking Declan what does recovery mean today, he tells me it means having a happy and contented home with his wife and daughter who is 12 now. “Sobriety has given me the gift of seeing and supporting her in achieving 2 Ulster championships in Irish dancing, and watch her play football in Croke Park in an all-Ireland final day.”
He laughs, “I don’t sound like a proud dad, sure I don’t”. Declan says he feels this means so much to him because he recalls in previous years he was asked to leave such events because he was drunk, which caused much distressed to them all as a family.
It’s plain to see that Declan has got meaning and love back in his life, what he loves and values and what is most important to him. Having experienced and lost sight of all this as a result of drinking, this isn’t short of a miracle.
Declan has helped so many in his recovery, carrying the message to those still drinking and adding to the lives of those in recovery. Declan says that this for him is the most important thing for himself in maintaining his own sobriety and keeping what has been given to him.
I ask Declan what he would say to someone who felt they were in despair and on a downward spiral with alcohol.
Declan says “ask for help, but be as honest as you can. Honesty is the only thing to break through this denial. I know it took me a long time, it doesn’t have to be that way, when you admit to yourself, you no longer need to be alone.”
Declan continues to live a life beyond addiction. From the brink of death to becoming a valued volunteer, fundraising for Davina’s Ark at events such as Lap the Lough.
This kind of fundraising allows us to provide much needed services for people like Declan and their families.
If you would like to donate to Davina’s Ark, please get in touch with us by clicking here.