Personal Success Stories
Jericho Staff and Clients
Every person who comes to Jericho Recovery Centre is special to us, since we recognize the courage it takes for someone to change the course of their lives. Our staff makes sure to stay in touch with alumni and see to it that they remain on track. Here are some remarkable stories of triumph. Let us help you change your life as well.
THE EARLY YEARS.
I was born what seems like many years ago in a small mission hospital called Umlamli on the South Eastern Lesotho border. It is not too far from a village called Lady Grey.
I grew up in a middle class family the middle of 3 children.
I have an older sister and a younger brother.
Because we lived in a remote location schooling was a challenge. I got dropped off at a boarding school at the age of 5 years and I cried for a few days. I felt a tremendous sense of abandonment and rejection and in my young mind I could not process what had happened.
The nuns were very strict and I spent the next 4 years in this environment. There were many holidays where our parents did not come and collect us for whatever reason, and we would be the only children who never went home.
It was around this time that the government declared the area where we lived part of the Transkei homeland and we had to relocate as we were white.
After numerous moves towards the Eastern Cape we just seemed to move from place to place and find no rest. We moved continuously and this made me insecure because as I settled into one school and made some friends we would move again. My father was a travelling salesman and was often away from home. This meant my mother was running the house and she struggled with this role.
My parents got to a point where they got divorced as I had just entered my teenage years.
This really shattered me and I could not understand how people who brought me up believing that there was a happy ever after blew that concept out of the water.
I was totally freaked out as the shaky foundation was taken away. My mother went to Ireland for a few years and my father drank quite heavily.
He was not a bad man and struggled with losing his wife.
This is when I thought that everything that had ever been taught to me was a lie and so I started making some really bad choices.
THE LOST YEARS.
I never completed my schooling and left home shortly after I turned 16 years old. I had become rebellious and unmanageable and was drinking and started using drugs of all kinds.
And so began a 25 year period where I was a vagabond and desperado. I was an alcoholic, drug addict and a sexual pervert and a serious problem.
I once tried to kill my mother after she got back from Ireland as I thought she was the cause of all our problems. She disowned me after that but it did not concern me as our family was pretty fragmented and warped. I went from one job to another, one city to another, one dysfunctional relationship to another and could find no peace in my soul. I can never fully describe the rejection, the hopelessness, the depression, the self-loathing, guilt, shame and condemnation I felt in my heart in these lost years. I ended up on the streets. I became a street hustler and also dealt drugs. My life was a mess as I wondered around. A young lady in Namibia once told me that I would never be able to run away from myself. There were times I contemplated suicide. I blamed everyone for my problems, from the pope to the government to my parents and God.
It was crazy this lifestyle I got caught up in.
I got arrested a few times and spent short periods in prison.
I was in a prison that had no walls.
My turning point came after about 25 lost years. I woke up choking on my vomit on a concrete floor in a little back room in Port Elizabeth. Funny it was in this city where the trouble began. It was like I had come full circle.
A silent thought from deep within me spoke to my heart and said to me. "You were born for something much bigger than this".
THE FOUND YEARS
It was then that I started making better choices that started my road to recovery. I went to a farm where the late Mr Noel Banfield started to speak into my life. He told me that God loved me and I was not really who I had become through all my wrong choices.
He taught me to forgive and let go of anything and anyone who had hurt me.
He taught me that there is another way of life that was good and clean.
It was over 20 years ago that Noel spoke into my life. It was the beginning of a fresh start and a new life. It was in these years of struggle that Jericho was birthed. It is a place where the walls came down. I have truly come from the gutter most to the uttermost. I cannot stress the importance of connecting with our Creator God enough. Religion could not help me, drugs could not help, only a relational connection with my heavenly Father truly set me free.
I reconciled with my mother before she died. I reconciled with my father and my family.
I spent over 3 years at the Ark City of Refuge in Cape Town as I walked the recovery road. I will be forever grateful and there are just too many people to mention there who blessed me.
So much has happened in my life since then. I got married to my lovely wife Liz and we have a daughter Kerry. We live on a farm near the centre.
I have studied and got a Doctorate in ministry and done a lot of practical counselling and seen a lot of people set free. There is no greater joy for me than to see lives changed and transformed.
I started managing a treatment centre and met a great group of guys and together we pioneered a vision for a place that was in my heart for years.
I have learned that integrity is extremely important in recovery and in life. We need to become transparent and accountable. I have never been so free and life has become an amazing adventure.
Integrity is basically doing the right thing when no one is around. I have been so blessed to be the pioneer visionary here at Jericho where I now function as the director/CEO.
I want to encourage you and tell you that there is no hopeless case. Anything is possible. Substance abuse is a lot like sin, it will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and make you pay more than you want to pay! Let us not lose heart but take hands together as we face this challenge head on. I hope that this short testimony will encourage you in some way!
Dereck Cromhout - CEO
I am just going to start off by saying that in the last couple of years I have gained more insight into my past behaviour, than I had in the early as I was coming out of addiction. I look back at my life and understand who I was, why certain decisions made “sense”, I why I chose a destructive course of action.
Looking back two things more than anything lay as the foundation for my bad decisions. First was a lack of identity, second was a natural consequence of the first and that was the lack of love and value I had of myself.
I still remember the debased condition of my mind, the constant paranoia, the belief that everybody could hear my thoughts, that every action I took, even something as small as buying the “wrong” can of soda will have some catastrophic effect on civilization in general…I am talking seriously damaging. For years this was my reality, when I was sober because of the damage the drugs did to my mind. The heroin dulled the thoughts as long as I stayed high. This however came with a whole new set of destructive behaviours and my family life, friendships, romantic relationships all suffered because off it. Lost jobs because of it. Basically, I became a career addict. Lying, stealing, manipulation all formed part of the daily routine.
Too many people got hurt in the process…just way to many…
Too many dreams given up on…
When I arrived at my final treatment centre, centre number seven, I embarked on an inward journey. Over the course of the next 18 months I started discovering my own identity, my own value as a person. I started realizing I am worth loving, worth looking after. I have value to add to the world I live in.
Today, 10 years later, I am married to a beautiful wife, two awesome kids, girl and boy, a cat, a job I love, and the support of family. I also have big dreams for our future, and I am willing to work hard to see them fulfilled.
As I get to know myself better, I gain more and more insight into people, life, conflict etc. I know there is much to learn still, but this inspires me, it excites me, it add to my hope to know that today I can change to be better at this thing called life than I was yesterday.
People are beautiful, really really beautiful, we just need to truly realize that.
We need to learn to love.
Lukas Loock - General Manager
A TESTIMONY TO THE POWER OF GOD
I was the last born into what I thought was a normal, average family of three children. My Mom was a non-going church member who forced us to go to the church from a very young age so we knew about God but never formed a relationship with Him. He was scary. My Dad was always too busy earning a living to spend any quality time with us as a family and this is where a “spirit of rejection” crept in at an early age. I never felt accepted and never seemed able to succeed to the extent of feeling good enough. A recipe for disaster!
My parents divorced when I was 9 years old and all semblance of role models went out of the window and staying with my Dad who took to drinking heavily, we pretty much brought ourselves up. At the age of 12 I started drinking alcohol and going to pubs with my Dad. By 14 it had progressed to entry-level drugs and I was on the slippery slope into the pointless, hellish life of a full-blown drug addict. At first it seemed great, I could escape the reality of life for a while but soon the hook was in and I couldn’t escape the unreal world of drugs and function in the real world.
Over 35 years of drug addiction and a dysfunctional outlook on life I have lost houses, cars, wives and children, status, credibility, health, even my mind at times, all were sacrificed on the alter to the demon of addiction. I was 49, living in the cheapest room I could find, doing odd jobs whenever I could function well enough, when I decided it just wasn’t worth living anymore. I remember well, it was a Sunday night and I had my suicide all planned out for the Monday morning when I received a phone call from my brother, whom I’d hardly had any contact with for many years, offering me a programme at a Christian Rehab where he was a Director.
I accepted and said to God…”If you have a reason for me to live I will give You six months to show me or I will commit suicide then!” That was nine years ago and now I am a pastor, teacher, preacher and addictions counsellor. I am part of the founder-membership of Jericho Recovery Centre and I am alive and living in God’s will, truly happy and fulfilled for the first time in my life. I am accepted and fit into the team and the body of Christ. For the first time I belong and I love leading people who are in the same predicament as I was, out of the valley of addict-death.
Be careful what you ask God for…you might just receive it!!
Kevin Cromhout - Counsellor
What really counts?
In my world as social worker statistics matter quite a lot. So here are some of my relevant stats since being called into the ministry towards people caught up in addiction:
Thirty Two years of experience
Estimated client base of 4000 (direct services rendered)
Capped three times with degrees, of which one was post-graduate
126 Funerals attended of those who did not make it
2 funerals not attended as I was to broken
Success rate unknown
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God
My professional career has never been separate from God’s calling. God has defined my calling to that of “Life Sharer”, and therefore He is continuously teaching me Life. Jesus came that we could have Life in abundance and live life in True Freedom!
The value of professional training and accountability should never be underestimated. I had the privilege to obtain my degree in social work, also majoring in psychology, at the University of Pretoria in 1988, as well as my degree in Theology through ICI presented at Hatfield Christian Church, where I studied part-time. Specialization in drug rehabilitation was the obvious choice in my post graduate social work studies. I completed my Masters Degree in Social Work during 1994 at the University of Pretoria. I was fortunate enough to do specialization courses which lead to international accreditation in trauma counselling and national accreditation as specialized Christian counsellor.
I am of the conviction that spirituality cannot be separated from the helping process. In my experience as social worker, including the levels of direct service delivery to clients, organization management and training provider, spirituality forms the core foundation. This viewpoint however intensified my being and living within the helping professions. Yes, it also skewed my perceptions to the point of having experienced burn out and dealing with burn out ineffectively and destructively. Thanks are to the Grace and Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that despite my miserable efforts, He kept me in this ministry of Life Sharing.
So, you might ask, where have I been most of my adult life? On the streets of various South African inner cities, brothels, dumps called houses, shacks and poverty stricken areas. I’ve been in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, asylums, police cells courts and prisons. I have been in children’s homes, youth detention centers and foster homes. I’ve spent time in the houses of the rich and famous, been at conferences and meetings. And at churches…. I have written thousands of pages, lobbied and spoke a few speeches in public. I have seen, I have heard, I have done and I haven’t done. I have worked. I have managed. I gave and I took. Yes, I have prayed with the dying, yes, I have wept in mortuaries.
But I have also experienced the indescribable joy with those being set free and healed through and by our Lord Jesus Christ! I have stood in the waters of baptism with some newborn spiritual children rising up to their new lives in Christ. I have prayed with those where human words fail to exclaim the gratitude for unfailing Love.
It is my prayer that Micha 6:8 be the God’s Word spoken over my life and calling, even so in my profession as social worker.
Maria Venter - Head Social Worker
CHANGING YOUR LIFE TAKES HARD WORK; IT’S CHALLENGING AND UNCOMFORTABLE.
When I was in addiction I gave away my self-respect. I did things I never thought I’d do. I was insecure, selfish and irresponsible. I was a liar, a cheater and a thief. I had become the “scum” my parents warned me about.
I’ve lost count of the many times I gave away who I was to be accepted by others, to get more drugs or to look like I had it all together. Failed relationship after relationship, job after job. What a pathetic man or should I say “little boy” I had become.
Even after rehab I was still this person, this immature boy in a man’s body. Simply stopping drugs didn’t change the weak character I had.
There is no miracle cure or formula out there. Changing your life takes hard work, it is challenging and uncomfortable…but definitely worth it.
I have become a man of integrity. I am driven by the will to succeed. I can finally provide for my family and teach my kids. I have realised what matters and have a will to fight for it.
Lourens Bezuidenhout - Operations Manager
Making choices, good choices I believe will bring a life with purpose and meaning. These good choices in my life were few and far between. It took me down a road of destruction far beyond what I could imagine when I started experimenting with drugs and alcohol. It started off as fun but over time even with the ‘fun coping skills’ that developed my life became unmanageable. The addiction took over. I lost friends, jobs and even sanity, the character was not there. Bordering on a divorce and losing my family I cried out of desperation. Help came through Jericho Recovery Centre, they took me in as their own and helped me develop the character needed to carry my gifting which I have avoided from a young age. They have given me the opportunity to fulfil my ability to teach and help others to come into the culture of recovery. My family and I are together and happy, I now have my friendships restored and reconciliation with my family. I am grateful for all that Jericho has done through the principles we live by.
Ralph de Nobrega - Counsellor and A2L Leader
Life hasn’t treated me fair, but that’s life. Life isn’t fair. During my time and stay at Jericho Recovery Centre I’ve been given the opportunities to look into my life and accept my circumstances. I’ve been taught how to take responsibility for my action and not blame others for my behaviour.
From a young age my life was unmanageable. I lost my self-worth. I drifted away from my education, love and attention I grew up in. The root of my dysfunction came from childhood rejection. Throughout my life, I’ve numbed and covered up the pain with mind altering substances, relationships, money and possessions.
I’ve been to a number of institutions but could never find a cure for the hurt I was living with.
Jericho offered me a support structure. I am surrounded with people who have a positive influence on my life, where we can learn to work together and face challenges as a team.
I’ve found stability in life. I am working towards becoming a Social Auxiliary Worker where I will be able to help less fortunate people to have quality lives.
2 years ago I was spiritually, emotionally and physically broken begging at a robot for my next fix of crack & heroin trying to end a 23 year long struggle with drugs, alcohol & dysfunctional behaviour, without any hope. All the pain, hurt, disappointment and sadness had finally caught up with me and I wanted nothing more to do with this thing called "Life”. I was stripped of everything that ever meant anything to me, material possessions, finances and loved ones. After been missing for almost 2 years my family thought I was dead but never gave up hope in finding me. My ex-manager saw me begging at the robot and posted a message to my family on Facebook that he had just seen me. My family found me on the 9th of November 2014 and booked me into Jericho Recovery Centre for a 1 year programme where I eventually got to work on all my root issues that lead to drugs, alcohol and dysfunctional behaviour which were only a symptom of my heart condition. I needed to change desperately otherwise I knew I was just heading for failure again. I needed a supernatural transformation and a renewing of my mind which I worked hard at with the help of the team at Jericho. Today I have a new spring in my step; I’m a blessing to those around me and have a real passion to Live! Thank you to all the people at Jericho for everything you have done for me.
Tyrone Long - Volunteer
Having lived a life rooted in addiction for close to twenty years, or more to the point of most of my adult life, it became apparent that denial was a term with which I had a personal relationship, without however admitting or acknowledging that it was the state in which I lived.
Being that my substance of choice was initially alcohol, I tended to believe that as this was socially acceptable, I did not indeed have a problem. Occasional weekend use quickly escalated to daily past time, which before I knew it became a 24 hour prison in which I found myself. The hangover from a week-long binge was “cured” by another tipple or “hair of the dog”, which only resulted in yet another session of binging and just as quickly I found myself in the vicious cycle of substance abuse.
Too proud to admit that I was in fact an alcoholic, my family attempted to find answers to my abhorrent behaviour, by sending me to countless counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, resulting in a range of misdiagnoses from depression to bi-polar disorder. This in turn led to my becoming dependent on sleeping tablets – thirty a day being the norm. Again believing that these medications being only available upon presentation of a prescription at a reputable pharmacy, I still did not see the error of my ways, nor the impact which my skewed thinking or beliefs was having on my life. I had by this point lost many lucrative employment opportunities, as well as relationships (both social and familial) – some which to this day have not yet been restored.
I half-heartedly attempted recovery twice before, fervently believing that I could change for other people. This I have come to realise was perhaps my greatest thinking error, as I now know that one can only change if you yourself wishes to do so. Recovery will not work if you attempt to see it through for others.
Fortunately for me it was indeed third time lucky. Jericho allowed me the opportunity to see the errors in my belief system which led to me making truly poor all-round decisions with regards to my life. Their love, compassion, kindness and patience also led me to acknowledge and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you Jericho and all glory to God.
Catherine Lindsey - Volunteer
WHAT IS FAILURE ANYWAY?
I’ve come to realise failure only has the power and influence in my life that I give it. Looking back, I see now how my self-believed failures opened new doors, new opportunities, new experiences and new hope in my life. Often I was not able to see my way out of very dark, depressing, crazy sates of mind. I fell into the detrimental trap of comparing myself to others – those I perceived to be successful – and drove myself insane through self-criticism. Alcohol and drugs did a lot to alleviate the deep insecurities I had but they were never a healthy, sustainable fix for my life.
Over the years I’ve lied about my substance dependence and abuse. I’ve been admitted to mental wards and seen numerous psychiatrists having been diagnosed as epileptic, schizophrenic, bi-polar, psychotic, highly anxious, manically depressed, having a borderline personality and being narcissistic. I’ve been lovingly cared for and booked into various rehabs and halfway houses as well. Each time though, I failed to see how my behaviour was hurting those who truly loved me. Each time I fought violently against receiving help. I was court sectioned to Jericho Recovery Centre and my life has completely changed. Dereck Ian Cromhout helped me come off all my psychiatric meds and has helped me to believe in and accept myself exactly as I am. He took a firm approach but with that encouraged me to be my authentic self. To get real and be completely honest. Never once did he tell me I was insane or impossible to deal with. He patiently got to the bottom of my problems. For the first time I understand how unhealthy my belief system was and that it is possible to change it. As I’ve progressed through my programme new doors, opportunities, experiences and hope have opened up for me. Jericho is unique in that it takes the individual where they are at, understands their interests and talents and provides opportunities to develop these. You’re not just another number and monthly fee, you are treated for the unique individual that you are.
Belinda Carreira - Past Client
I WASN'T A BAD PERSON BUT MY CHOICES WERE BAD
I remember growing up having a really good childhood, Loving father and mother and younger brother. There was no real reason for me to choose the wrong path in life. I did well in school and excelled in sport, after school, I studied Marketing Management and worked in a five star restaurant to earn extra money. This is where my using began, mostly alcohol, marijuana; ecstasy and LSD. There were many late nights and many highs and many lows. I was always influenced easily by my peer group; this would be one of my downfalls in life.
As I grew up I became rebellious and a real party animal always talking things way to far, I found that my good friends were hanging around me less and less, obviously my reckless behaviour became a liability to them.
My family and girlfriend were concerned about me and I remember having numerous heart to hearts about my dysfunctional behaviour.
In an effort to change my ways I got into a programme at SANCA and did the weekly NA meetings etc. I was clean for a period of eight months.
I also studied computers to try and make a better life for myself and worked part time to help pay for my studies.
Then I started with cocaine – It was easier to hide at first and made me feel invincible, this would be the start of a very destructive relationship. I managed to hide my using for a very long time only blasting on weekends when I got really drunk.
I managed to keep a few jobs without losing the plot and even started my own Marketing business which actually put my using in to remission for a few years. I submerged myself into my business building a good base of clients that supported me each month.
For a while I was really doing well, even met a nice girl and my life was looking like it might go somewhere.
As my business became more and more demanding I would work day and night to meet the demand and in so doing began using cocaine to stay awake all night working and then to get me through the day. This got out of control and I lost my business of 4yrs and my girlfriend and my passion.
Now I was totally angry at the world for having lost my business and wanted payback, on my downward spiral I met a guy that was involved in manufacturing cat and meth and decided this is the way I was going to make it back.
Needless to say after eight months of cooking and dealing drugs I found myself at another dead end of my destructive path.
I tried again to straighten out my life and work honest jobs in the copier sales industry chopping and changing every three months because I felt I wasn’t going anywhere, many of the positions were actually quite promising but because of my incessant using none would last.
I decided to go back to dealing drugs; I started selling Hydroponic Marijuana, Cat, Cocaine, Pills, and Mushrooms
I sold drugs for the next 4 years having many run-ins with law enforcement being locked up at least eight times for possession.
I had the Hawks visit my house to search my premises for drugs, lucky for me there was nothing for them to find, they could tell I was dealing and opened up a project on me to monitor my movements. Still I continued.
Then I got involved in another meth lab operation, and the organised crime unit had been following this particular merchant for three years already so they tracked our phones and we were caught with 200 kg of crystal meth in a lab with all the apparatus.
I was sent to jail and denied bail and spent 1 year in jail trialling my case before they made me the state witness and I was released with a 5 year suspended sentence, my accused that was arrested with me was sentenced for 10 years.
When I came out I had to sell my house to help with the legal costs, I moved into a small flat away from my brother and mother who wanted nothing to do with me by this stage.
I started smoking crack and was involved with a number of prostitutes. At this point I had lost all hope in my life and a feeling of despair was dominant in my life. I had no purpose each day apart from doing drugs and turning tricks.
I was caught again by the police for drugs and sent back to jail.
When I appeared in court they had clearly had enough and gave me either 8 years in jail or a court section to rehab for 8 months.
This was when I came to Jericho for 8 months.
This is the first time I was able to detach from my denial and my old life fully, and see the truth about my life and who I have hurt and how much destruction I had caused.
There were people who have walked the same road in life who were able to help me recover.
I could now see that I wasn’t a bad person but my choices were bad, hence the result.
I have been able to rebuild myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have learned tools to help me walk a straight path in the future.
Even starting to rebuild trust in broken relationships with family and friends.
Coming to Jericho Recovery Centre is undoubtedly the best decision I have ever made.
Charles van Vuuren - Marketing and Intakes
I’d like to share with you today my testimony. I was a crystal meth addict and have previously been in numerous rehabilitation centres. When I finally got the opportunity to get treatment once more as a last attempt by my family to help me at Jericho Recovery Centre, things started getting real and real change started to take place.
Jericho got to the heart of my addiction. The reasons why I felt the need to escape, the way I saw myself and the way I let past experiences drive my life into the hell it had become. It was only at Jericho where I first started to see where I was responsible, where I wasn’t and what I had to do, how I had to think and the responsibility that I had to start taking for my life. No other rehab invested in me in this way. They also walk the talk. Through being in an environment where the people that where guiding me where also living that very same way, is what really changed my heart. I saw what quality of life they had and I wanted a piece of that and that’s exactly what I have now acquired for myself.
After 6 Months at Jericho Recovery Centre I was told I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I believed I was. I thought 33 years of the wrong thinking was restored and I would make it.
So I went home and got eaten alive. I still needed to find purpose and there were still things I needed help with. Like the really big question…WHAT NOW? I have these tools but where do I place myself in this life that I left chaos in every avenue of. I didn’t know where to start. This is why I am so passionate about taking recovery further. To the crux of the matter. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to return to Jericho - Ego a bit bruised but now moving onto the next phase of my recovery I am so excited and passionate about the next phase of my journey and hope to be an integral part of others recovery…I now see the bigger picture. I now see Jericho’s vision in not just primary care, but much like that seal to be dropped into the ocean with purpose. I have been placed into a admin position at Jericho and helping with our Expansion and Development project that will help those in the same boat as me. Because of my trials with finding my purpose I am now in the position to help others. Jericho did not only change my thinking and healed my hurt but ultimately pressed me further. To look deeper and to question what it is I want to do with my life. How I can be useful, what will fulfil me and create for me a life worth living.
Jericho has given me goals and dreams and they lie within the Expansion and Development project as I work with the team on developing and implementing a whole new treatment model that will help addicts leaving primary care treatment find their purpose and passion in life, get training according to this, find jobs according to this or set up their own businesses according to this.
So there is a great ending for me and it’s actually only my beginning.
Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you.
Kendal Pietersen - Past Client
Situated in a beautiful valley, between majestic mountains and lush green lands, is Jericho Recovery Centre. I myself had never heard of it before and little did I know that this would become my home for the next six months. I arrived at Jericho five months ago, tired, jetlagged and just a little bit disorientated and afraid. Jericho was my second stop on South African soil. I have been living abroad in Italy for the past ten years and after flying halfway around the world, my reconnection with my country began here at Jericho. I am infinitely grateful for the fact that I arrived here without any expectations as Jericho surpassed any expectations that I would have had. People always talk about the old cliché “to find yourself”, well I can honestly and truthfully say that here I did find myself, I also rediscovered so many other things, compassion, patience, love for life, wisdom, laughter and my purpose in life. I am grateful and honoured to have spent my time here, an experience I would not trade for anything, as what I am taking back with me, wherever I am going is something more precious than gold. The staff here are people who have crept deep into my heart, they care about each and every person here and one cannot help but feel safe, loved and cared for. They say life is a journey, but sometimes our journeys end up in dead end streets or continuous cul-de-sacs until one is fortunate enough to find a place like Jericho where I am now secure in the knowledge of restarting my life journey down new paths.
Lucy Rontgen - Past Client
Just a few months ago I was a broken and desperate girl standing on a street corner at night, not knowing if I’ll see the sunrise. I had lost all hope and all the values I once lived by. Jericho Recovery Centre was my only hope. Within a month of being here I felt like a new creation. I have never known such love as I experienced here from the counsellors and volunteers. For the first time in my life I’ve started to develop healthy relationships. I rediscovered my love for horses and now take other residents on outrides. I’m not only living a clean and sober life but Jericho has also empowered me in my purpose in life which is farming. I get to wake up every morning on this beautiful farm between the mountains and live out my purpose. I have a passion for everyone here at Jericho who have so much experience, genuine love and kindness that I want to work here when I’m finished my programme. I have no desire to go back to the life I knew or ever use heroin again. Honestly I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy and content even before the drugs. I owe it all to my amazing parents who loved me enough to bring me here.
Jualise Coetzer - Past Client
THERE IS A REASON FOR YOUR LIFE AND YOU MATTER
My life was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do. My teeth were breaking and my gums aching as I sat on the side of my bath one night completely devastated and helpless. I wouldn’t admit to myself or anyone I knew I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. I was so afraid and paranoid about what everyone would think. A few weeks later my Dad had to wheel me out of a hotel at 7:15am in the morning before work. I was taken to my first primary care rehab – a pig farm in Pietermaritsburg.
Due to my inability to open up and honestly admit my drug and alcohol problem and continually fighting against the rules, I was expelled after 8 months, put on a bus to Pretoria and given the number of 2 shelters.
The first one I called was in Pretoria West and Tannie Sharan who ran it came to pick me up. She took me in. I started by washing dishes on Christmas day then preparing vegetables for meals. She found out I was a hard worker when encouraged and insisted on having me help in the office and look for a job. She gave me clothes, shoes, did my hair, gave me a bed to sleep in and food each day. She also got the shelters driver to take me to numerous job interviews, often in Johannesburg.
I couldn’t believe it when I got a job in a large company in Joburg. I started to save and moved into a small rented room after two months. I then paid back all of my debt. After 2 years I met someone who dumped me after a month. I was tired and depressed and working long hours. I got the flu and drank a bottle of cough mixture with alcohol in it. From there it was downhill. My older brother committed suicide a couple of months later and shortly after that I returned to drugs.
I isolated myself from my family and friends and soon I found myself back in one rehab after another. The last straw came when I was found passed out in a parking lot. A bounty hunter brought me into Jericho Recovery Centre.
I’d lost all hope and will to pick myself up and do it again. But here at Jericho, through their compassionate treatment and depth of experience, the staff and volunteers have helped me to find out who I am and rediscover my purpose for living.
So if you’re like me and you’ve lost all hope in life and are drawing comfort from one or other addiction, not thinking you can make it. Believe me you can, there’s a reason for your life and you matter. Do all you can to get out of it all for a while and complete a long-term treatment programme. It’s amazing how things will start falling into place to facilitate it when you cry out for help and accept it.
Thank you to the team at Jericho for giving me a new hope, a new passion and a renewed purpose for my life.
I write this testimony after many years of addiction and many attempts at short term detox programs. These were to no avail, as I find myself in a long term rehabilitation program at Jericho Recovery Centre. For the first time in my life, I believe I can see the light. This is so simple and yet I could never attain anything close to where I am now. I am happier now than what I have been for a long time. Recovery, for me, means I must ENJOY every moment of it, but I must WANT it badly enough. I never understood what recovery meant. Did I ever want to recover? I have lost so much in my life, a lot will not be regained. I am significantly older than the average person at Jericho. Probably more than double the average age. This will not derail my recovery. I may be older, but not dead. Another relapse, will mean DEATH!! Sad, but true. It has taken so long for me to realise this. At what cost? I believe that this enormous cost could have been avoided.
I grew up in a small Free State town back in the day. We had a close family, Dad, Mom and older brother. My Dad was in the second world war and 17 years older than my mom. My mom has always been a good Christian and still is. My brother and I went to private catholic schools all our lives. We did very well at school. My Dad started drinking heavily in my senior years. He also smoked heavily. This progressed with time. My Mom hardly ever drank and never smoked. My brother went to university but never completed his degree. Thereafter he went to do military training. I did very well at sport and played professional soccer at the age of 16. I mixed with much older men. We travelled a lot and I started drinking. Very little to start with. This soon escalated, without me realising it. Most of the guys did this. Did they??. Weekend drinking was soon the norm for me. I never enjoyed Mondays. I became rebellious in Matric and became a handful. I somehow still matriculated with very good marks. I got springbok colours in three different sports without much effort. What more could one ask for. After matric I went to the military. I was really fit and soon volunteered for special forces. My Dad was very impressed due to his military stint. We were put through our paces. Very few people know or understand what we went through. I cannot even try to explain this. I was soon exposed to things that no 18 year old take part in. I enjoyed all of it. Most operations were in other countries. I started drinking even heavier when I had the opportunity. When not on special operations, I was drinking. I or, we had a reputation. Exceptional on operations, but wild on Rest and Recreation. This continued for many years and became a pattern in my life. After military I completed my university qualifications. I, by some miracle, was so disciplined while studying that I hardly partied. Only on very special occasions. I started working and soon started drinking again. These were all binges. They got worse all the time. I got married and landed up in my first rehabilitation centre after some time. I was clean and sober for a long time and became addicted to sport. I cycled for Mr Price and did very well. I attended many groups and my recovery was on track. I did not drink at all and life was good. I was a good husband and a good father to my children. This was very short lived. I broke my arm cycling, had to have surgery and was exposed to painkillers. I cross addicted. I was aware of all the dangers. The inevitable happened. Another addiction to deal with. I did not care about anyone. Wife, children, friends and other family. Not to even mention work. Many people advised me to have long term rehabilitation, including my wife and young daughter. After analgesics, sedatives and anxiolytics I reverted to my initial addiction. ALCOHOL. I had lost so much but did not care or even think about consequences. So, many detoxes later, and an addicts life that I do not wish on anyone, I find myself in Jericho after a family intervention. I have destroyed relationships with everyone. A wife that will never trust me, a son that I believe still struggles to call me Dad. I have a daughter that is very supportive, has finished her masters degree, but has emigrated to another country. I have lost so much, businesses, loved ones, respect from others and including self respect.
I now have to restart all I have lost, regain trust from virtually all I know, and live with myself, after all I have done to others, some, whom I am sure I have not even thought of. I have a wife that will never trust me and has been hurt so many times. She is STILL assisting me where possible. My son, I believe has struggled to call me Dad, does not trust me, and struggles to spend time with me, but still communicates with me. My daughter has finished a masters degree and has emigrated to another country. She has always supported me and knows that I am an addict. She is very supportive and we communicate daily, but she is very, very far away.
I hope that this testimony will be of value to someone. It’s never too late. Addiction is never to small and never too big to start a clean, new, fresh life. Age is not important. I had to realise that I wanted to recover. Really wanted recovery. Recovery, I believe must be enjoyable. If not it, will be too difficult. Remember, the WANT TO RECOVER AND ENJOYMENT THEREOF.
In October 2015 I came to Jericho for drug use. After 12 years of this habit I was scared to leave my old ways behind and try something new. The 1st thing I had to learn early in my program was to be humble and to stick to my decision I made which was to quit. The day arrived when I decided to be honest with myself and accepted that my behaviour needs to change.
In the program I started working on myself. One thing I got taught here was, “Every decision you make will be challenged.” Walking this road wasn’t easy, but thanks to my counsellor and life coach I found new hope. I don’t know much but what I do know is that it is vitally important to renew your thinking constantly if you want to continue living a sober life. It brings joy to know that the staff at Jericho is willing to help.
Their advice and wisdom makes my recovery so much better.
Jericho Recovery Centre is open and honest towards me. I want to thank them and look forward to walk the road with them.
“I came to Jericho Recovery Centre after having failed at rehab twice before. I’m happy to say that I’m still clean and it’s all thanks to you. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for giving me my life back!”
Take the first step in breaking your cycle of addiction. Call us today.