Peter Hayton, Clinical Director at The Banyans: I guess when you think about people when they’ve come through that journey to recovery and they’ve got to that place where they’re healthy and well again, it’s just not a transformation in a person’s life but it’s everybody connected to that person: their work colleagues, you know, their business, their family, their children. It’s like there’s a new life that starts and a lot of people talk about that they talk use words like “I’ve been saved” or “it’s new” or “you know this is transformed me.” They’re powerful words, and that transformation happens across the whole family and all aspects of that person’s life.

Joey, Wellness Advocate and former alcoholic: The level of excitement felt by my husband and children was an inspiration in itself. My husband stood by me through everything. He was so supportive.

And I have to admit, he was very skeptical at the beginning. He was very nervous – he was as nervous as I was that fear of failure is ever-present, especially in the spouse and the loved ones of the addict. And that’s normal – it’s very normal for people to be skeptical. So he was nervous and he, just like me, took things one day at a time. Every day that went by was another day without alcohol and was another day that he gave himself permission to be excited. Within a few weeks he was equally excited and he was sharing in that excitement with me. Then my kids. Their personalities changed, because they were very little at the time. They were coming up to me and saying things to me, squeezing my hand and saying things like “Mum, you’re never angry anymore” and “Mum, we never see you cry anymore”.

My daughter who was who was six at the time, the bit that was the most heartbreaking thing was she looked in the fridge one night and she said, “Mummy where’s your wine?” and I had the greatest moment which was saying to her, “Mummy doesn’t drink wine anymore.” That was indescribable being able to say that to my own child: “Mummy doesn’t drink wine anymore.” And the best part I meant it. I meant it. It was so good, it was so good. It’s been almost nine years now that I have been free of alcoholism.