Laurie Culley – My time at ANA

After more than ten years abusing myself with drink and drugs I reached
my lowest point. In November of 2004 I was arrested for drunk driving and whilst in the cell at Ealing Police Station, London. I contemplated suicide.

I was lost alone and afraid and reached a point whereby my denial around my using drink and drugs was practically torn from me almost tearing myself and my family apart. Whilst in the cell at Ealing Police Station I was
offered help for my problems. I accepted and have not looked back. Life today is difficult but it is a damn sight better than when I was active in my addictions.

On December 9th 2004 via a local drugs and alcohol charity in London called Turning Point, I recieved a bed at ANA Treatment centre in Southsea Portsmouth. I arrived and The staff where instantly friendly.

The First four weeks were spent in the detox house at St Andrews Road. This was a shock and was not an easy time but with the will to change and the assistance of the Staff and by working together with other clients this was made into a positive and life changing experience.

After the initial four weeks detox programme and my first insight into the AA 12 step programme of recovery, I went on to what is called the primary house. This was difficult again but was eased by the supportive and caring nature of the staff and by then some good friends whom I still have contact with today. During my stay at ANA the days consisted of Group Therapy. This was challenging and at times very emotional and together with the staff and other clients extremely personal and painful life experiences were shared in confidence and with understanding. There was fun days also and plenty of walks along the sea-front which is beautiful to me in the sushine or the rain. One afternoon a week was spent playing bowls as a group and there was relaxation periods and accupuncture as a part of our weekly programme.

Overall it was a very positive and inspirational time for me and with the support of all the people, staff and clients alike I managed to equip myself with some very strong foundations for my recovery. I am now almost 17 months completely abstinent and very grateful to all at ANA for their warm proffessional and understanding ways of working with me in reaching my objective – a life without drink and drugs. It is possible but you have to want it more than anything else.

Since gaining my new found way of life I have managed to achieve my personal dream of becoming a published poet. My story in my own unique way, has been published in my book called, “Nine Months To The Day”. I am working on a follow on book and have already received interest from the publishers. We Can Achieve – The Key Is To Believe!!

Laurie Culley Pocket Poet!!!
May 2006

Here are some poems from my book. Click here to find out more…

THE DOG

He’s walked,
He’s fed!
At night
He’s put to bed.
He smells,
He poos;
He occasionally chews.
BECAUSE, HE’S THE DOG!

Laurie Culley
2005

NO!,YES!

What happened last night?
Those famous four words.
Don’t worry you did it again.
No!
Yes.
Another mess!
Got drunk,
And acted the fool.
Woke up this morning felt sad.
Ashamed to call myself Dad!
My bed, I swamped,
It’s a Pool.
I hurt the people I love.
Why is my life so tough?
Worthless, sad, pitiful and mad,
I need to change; my life is bad!
Drink and I have done it again.

Laurie Culley
2005