Stories from Rebound Carers - an Insight

Powerful testimonials from members of Rebound Carers' Group, in their own words.

Without doubt Rebound helped me enormously to try to manage my feelings of anxiety and despair about my sibling’s drug and alcohol problems which caused mental health issues.  I was so fearful for my sibling’s mortality and upset.  Rebound helped me to feel like I was not alone and helped me to understand more about the behaviour of people facing such difficulties.  Currently I feel cautiously optimistic.  Knowing that Rebound is there should I need reassurance and suggestions is a huge help for me.  I would feel very anxious if Rebound was no longer able to offer support.

 

RO

Having dealt with my husband’s chronic alcoholism without any assistance for over 12 years, I felt extremely alone.  Until I was put in touch with Rebound.  The group is welcoming and supportive offering not only the group meetings, but also online group meetings and access any time, whenever it becomes too difficult to cope alone.  When the odds seem stacked against you, I know there is always someone at the end of the phone to offer an ear and even allow me to have a good rant where necessary.  Always kind, never judgemental.

 

The group offers a safe place to ask questions, find encouragement where you think all is hopeless, and just to know that everyone there understands exactly how it feels.  If I didn’t have the safety net of these lovely people, I wouldn’t be able to cope with the sometimes insurmountable problems associated with living with my husband and his problems.  Having tried other groups, I have found Rebound to be invaluable in giving me the strength to carry on.

 

SS

I would like to thank you for the support, understanding and yes sympathy on occasions you have shown me over the past 5 years.

 

I am extremely thankful my Doctor sent me to Rebound and you welcomed me with open arms.  At that time I felt very isolated, confused and guilty as I was convinced my sons addiction had to be my fault, I had no one to talk to and was in the deepest depths of despair, you and Rebound were my lifeboat.

 

Listening to other people’s stories helped me to realise I was not alone and I could get through this, the support of the group has helped me to be strong, and if I faulted you were there to prop me up.

 

I dread to think where so many of us would be without Rebound.

BW

My son was in a very bad place during 2020 and into 2021.  He was unable to get help for his anxiety and depression for a variety of reasons.  He began to self-medicate.  At first it was with weed but his drug-taking soon included a variety of (street) pills, different ones for different needs.  His situation became serious.  I tried to get help for him but the mental health team (NHS) wouldn’t help because of the drugs.  He wouldn’t consider a rehab place – and if he had, there was a chance they wouldn’t even take him because of possible underlying mental health issues.  I felt alone. Nobody was helping us.

I discovered Rebound while I was searching for help.  I was finally given support for ME.  I was able to talk about everything and have someone listen without judgement. And it was such a relief to find out I’m not alone. By having support, I was able to think clearer.  It was so helpful to check out if the things I was doing or saying were the right things.  The woman on the phone was able to use her experience to guide me so that I kept my boundaries with my son, while being able to still show I love and support him.  The support they gave me helped me to support him.

I’ll be forever grateful to Rebound and their employees and volunteers for helping my family through our darkest days.

SS

When we first came to Rebound about 10 years ago we were desperate and exhausted with worry about our son's drug addiction.  We didn't know where to turn or how to cope.  We felt as if our lives were over, and we felt completely isolated.

 

Rebound gives us the chance to talk to others, in a safe environment, who know exactly what we are going through.  There is no judgement and it is so re-assuring to know that we are not alone in this struggle.

 

The support we gain from this group is on-going and is invaluable.  Rebound is a lifeline for us and many others.

 

There is no other local group like Rebound and if it was to fold we would be completely devastated.

 

CW

I am a Mother of a son, who for over 20 years was a drug addict.  He was always troubled and had underlying mental health problems.  He started dabbling at quite a young age, culminating in full blown addiction.  He would take anything, but mainly injecting heroin.  He was often in trouble with the Police and spent time in Prison.  He also had several stays in hospital, because of massive infections etc.  An addict's life is often dirty and dangerous and absolutely heart breaking to watch.  Having any family member in addiction is very isolating.  There is still a stigma and often very little sympathy.

 

When I first attended Rebound it was such a relief to be in a room where other people knew exactly how I felt.  All new members, myself included, have this huge out pouring of grief during their first visits.  A lot of crying and a feeling of being able to finally unburden oneself.  There are a lot of services and help available for the actual addicts, but very little for their Carers. Rebound cannot work miracles, but they do offer support, that is so desperately needed to enable the Carers to cope a little better. They suggest strategies to stop enabling the addict.  These are often difficult to practice, because the natural instinct, especially of a Mother, is to help their child, but often this is completely the wrong thing to do.  You have to find some inner strength and Rebound helps with that.  Most people come to Rebound because they are desperate and at their wits end.  I have been a member since its conception and I am sure in the early days, they helped save my sanity.  I used to feel a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I left a meeting.  In fact, nothing had actually changed, but I just felt stronger and more able to cope.  Addicts have terrific mood swings and often Carers have similarly mirrored moods.  Carers lead a very stressful life, watching someone they love gradually destroy their very existence.

 

My son finally took one risk too many and he died earlier this year from an overdose. Unless you have personally experienced living with an addict, you can have no idea of how overwhelming it can be.  Organisations like Rebound are absolutely essential and more money should be invested to enable them to keep going.....

 

PD

When I first came to Rebound, nearly ten years ago, I knew nothing about the horrors of alcohol addiction.

 

Our youngest son, then aged forty, had come to live with us, his parents.  His wife no longer wanted him.  He was almost constantly drunk and, when he wasn’t comatose, his behaviour was often selfish, rude, and hurtful - all the nasty characteristics that go with alcohol addiction.

 

Rebound not only gently opened my eyes to the realities of alcoholism but gave me advice on how to cope and a place where I could talk to people who understood.

At home my wife and I had each other to lean on.  How a parent, child or partner might cope, on their own, with all the lonely, painful, horror-filled hours and days and weeks of living with an addict I cannot imagine.  Rebound can give what it gave me: advice, support, and connections with people who understand and people who can help.

 

TC

My name is Julie and I contacted Rebound recently, as my daughter has been an addict for many years.  She has now been to rehab for 28 days and lives in a funded shared house with other recovering addicts.

 

My counsellor recommended Rebound as someone else for me to talk to.  I have spoken to Lynn over the phone and via Zoom with Jackie and two other parents.  I am looking forward to the group meeting being held on the last Tuesday of the month.

 

I am hoping to be able to meet and talk to other parents who have been through this and get some advice on helping to support my daughter and for me be able to get on with my life.

 

I know I have only just contacted them, but the positive response I have received by email has been good, I also know they are only a phone call away should I need them.

 

JH

It is vital we keep Rebound open.  I would most definitely say that it’s not a choice to be an addict, but an uphill struggle for the many families/friends of those who have addictions!

 

JR

If it hadn’t been for my visits to Rebound every Tuesday with my friend I can honestly say we both wouldn’t have been able to cope going on with our lives.

 

We both got such great support and fantastic advice and help from people that we managed to learn how to handle the addiction of our children.

 

My GP was impressed how I managed to learn to look after ME.

 

Thank you Rebound.

PG

When my son became an addict I felt lost, alone and, wrongly, ashamed.  Rebound was somewhere I felt valued and safe where I could discuss my choices and ability to cope with my distressing and desperate situation.  With their support I managed to put in boundaries which enabled me to support my child and maintain my sanity.  I am fortunate that he is currently a recovering addict and feel this is due to the guidance of rebound.  I believe the authenticity of the staff have contributed to empowering me to stop enabling my child and direct him to make better choices.  This service has been imperative for me.  Thank you.

 

IT

I have not been for a long while and unfortunately my ex-partner completely relapsed after 7 weeks in a rehab, which I was devastated by.

 

I just want to give some feedback about Rebound and how supportive you have been and helped me to understand this problem in a much more enlightened way.  I’ve never been in this situation where a loved one is a drug addict and hates it really, but cannot seem to escape it, not at the moment anyway.  But partners and families suffer too and feel lost and lonely in trying to come to terms and help which is where your support group Rebound has been so very valuable.  It certainly helped me and gave me strength and I know others too. Just want to say thank you and provide feedback

 

NC

I called Rebound Carers as my son has practically destroyed his life.  Not knowing where to turn, having tried doctors, NHS etc. I called Rebound who told me exactly how life is in reality, this has helped my wife and myself so much from one phone call and I know the group are always there.  The real good news is our son looks like he is now trying to sort his problems we will always (as long we can) be there for him.

 

It is not just the addicted that suffer but the ones that care and carers who can suffer so much during the process.

 

Thank you so much, I know I have not attended a meeting yet but to receive the email when the meeting is on and just to know you are there is like a lifeline.

 

Many thanks to you and Rebound

 

DG

When my son was in what was to be his final attempt at recovery after 25 years of active addiction, I asked him to write me a letter to explain how his addiction took over his life and tore apart the family who loved him.  This is what he wrote:

 

"I knew I had a problem very early on, but I always thought I'd be able to stop in my own way.  I convinced myself that when I chose to I would be able to get off heroin even though within a couple of weeks I knew I was addicted.  I'd be able to get off by smoking weed and having a few beers.  How wrong I was, I thought I was in control of IT but not that IT was in control of me.

 

I not only convinced myself but anyone else who I wanted to, my family being the main people because they meant so much to me and they were the last people I wanted to hurt with the truth.

 

I had found out long before, when I was a child, the way to lie.  It was only when I was involved with hard drugs I found the best way to lie and be convincing to the ones who knew me so well I really, really had to believe it myself.  So I would go over every possible question I faced with a reason or story to cover every angle.  If I truly believed my own lies, how convincing could I be with my own family?

 

At first my family wanted to believe me - and why not?  I was a grown up now.  I used this to my advantage.  The more I lied and conned, the less they were convinced.  I had to learn and become a very quick thinker.  Thinking on my feet was soon mastered.  It was not long before I had to use this technique a lot, in so many places and to so many people - employers, police, magistrates, judges, even old school friends who didn't appreciate my new lifestyle.

 

It was all about manipulation to get what I wanted.  The end goal was my fix:

 

'Mum can I "borrow" £10 to get some baccy and bus fare?'

 

'Mum I'm just going out to the shop to get some baccy, only be 10 minutes'

 

'Mum can you give me a lift to my "mates"?  But I've got to stop off at this house to see if he's at his girlfriend's, I'll only be a minute'

 

These examples were just the start of things.  When my mum got concerned I said 'Mum I only smoke a bit of puff, I'd never take anything else!' "

Do you remember the moment you took heroin for the first time?  I like to think that if you'd realised where that action would lead you'd have made a very different choice.  You self-destructed, and have left yourself with physical and mental scars.  At the same time you changed the lived of your loving family forever.

 

I am proud that you have been in sustained recovery for 5 years, but I deeply resent everything you put us through.  I walked away whilst you were in active addiction but, as promised, supported you in your receovery.

 

Do I trust you?  NO - that has to be earned over time.

 

Do I like you?  Not really.  However, I'm slowly learning to like the different person you have become, but my heart aches for the precious son I once had.

 

Do I love you?  Always, and in spite of everything.  I gave birth to you, and that bond is forever.

 

I understand that recovery is one day at a time.  I truly hope you never forget those very dark times, take responsibility for yourself and remember that bad choices have consequences which have to be faced eventually.

When I first went to a Rebound meeting I was an absolute wreck myself due to my daughter being a chronic Alcoholic.

 

I remember pouring out my hurt, frustrations, crying and saying ... I can't do this any more.  Everyone on the room listened to me and, when I finished my rant, everyone gave me so much support and advice that, by the end of the evening, I was already feeling better.

 

I now go to a meeting once a week and can honestly say ... Rebound has helped me SO much that I am getting MY life back ... thank you Rebound.

I have two children, I mention only one.

 

I love my secret child but I can't believe what he's done.

 

The upset, the betrayal, the lies, the deceit

 

The emptiness of lost love that made me complete.

 

The lost grandchildren I will never know

 

The messed up, angry one I do

 

Will the police knock at my door?

 

About my first born, my precious son?

 

Will I have to identify his poor abused body?

 

Will he die before me?

 

Will he ever be free?

My first grandchild has just been born!  A gorgeous, beautiful 8lb 2oz healthy and handsome little grandson.

 

I loved him from the moment I saw his scan picture and I was unaware of the overwhelming feeling of grandmother's love that is experienced post arrival!  I was informed by text together with his father and the rest of our family two days after his birth.

 

My son is an addict, he has previously been sectioned and is making good efforts to remain well.  We have arranged to meet and be introduced to our new family member when he is two weeks old.  I pray for my son that holding his new born son for the first time will help him out of his personal torment and cement in his mind that it's not all about him any longer.

As I try to find the brother I grew up with among the debris of his addiction.

 

"I look in to your eyes but cannot see you.  I look deeper and I see addiction and darkness wrapped in an evil cradling.

 

I call your name, but you do not answer.  I cannot find you.

 

I love you.

 

I will keep looking for you"

 

Written by a member of Rebound, June 2018

Understand

Rebound has helped me understand addiction and recovery.  I have learned how to support my husband's receovery, not his addiction.  To give up trying to control what is not my responsibility.  I had been doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.

 

Rebound is safe, non-judgemental, caring and informative.  I am learning to let go of destructive habits.

 

I did not cause my husband's addiction / I cannot control his addiction / I cannot cure his addiction

 

But, there is hope and Rebound helps me to support my husband's recovery and to look after myself.

 

I went along to Rebound with almost no knowledge of addiction, not knowing what to expect and feeling very apprehensive.

 

Everyone there was so friendly and welcoming.  I left after first visit realising I was not alone and that people from all walks of life can be affected.  Also, anything that is said within the group is completely confidential and this, of course, is SO important.

 

What Rebound has given me is a sense of belonging and enabled me to turn despair into realistic hope for the future.

 

At this time, my story has turned in to a positive and I am able to help support others within the group but if, in the future, I experience further problems as a carer I know that Rebound is there - and that is a very comforting thought.

Invaluable

I've attended Rebound since its inception and have found it to be a group that has provided a mix of care, support, sharing and education.  It has been invaluable to me and I'm sure it has also helped my relationship with my wife.  I continue to attend, even though my wife has given up the substance misuse, because I believe I need continuing support which I believe also still helps my wife's and my recovery.

Tomorrow Never Comes

So there you are with the fixed smile that says "I'm OK," and the eyes that say you are anything but.

 

The morning after yet another sleepless night; a night full of wonder of "I wonder if," and "How has it come to this?"  The voice in your head repeating over and over "please don't let the phone ring," and another saying "please let him be OK."

 

The knot in the back of your neck is taut, a feeling in your stomach of being on a 'fast spin.'  Your heart pummelled.

 

The start of another day, and what will it bring?  Things don't seem quite so bad in the day time, if you keep yourself busy that is.

 

I find it easier to be alone, keep myself to myself.  That way I don't have to pretend, lie; but who am I lying to?

 

He has appointments today, hope he will go.  But, what if he doesn't?  Maybe I should try and find him, take him, am I letting him down?

 

What have I done?  What should I do?  Where the hell is he?!  If only there was something I could do.  Then, in the pit of my stomach, the cold reality of knowing there is nothing I can do.  But, belive me when I tell you that, even with the knowledge of stark reality, it doesn't stop you searching, longing or dull the heartache.

 

So there you are, with your heart pounding and, in your head, turmoil.  Which way to turn now?  Then, there it is again, that awful feeling of guilt and the torment of helplessness.  So I pick up the phone, call him.  He's not answering today; maybe he is in his meeting.  A moment of wishful thinking which is quickly overpowered by the familiar feeling of anxiousness; maybe he's been arrested.

 

In his head, he is dealing with it, arrangements have been made.  But is that the truth of it, or is it all in his head?

 

I feel like I am in freefall again, waiting for the collission as I hit the edge and hang there for a while, suspended.

 

Then, one phone call brings the long awaited offer of help, hope.

 

A place is available for him in Baytrees.  I try to call him to give him the news, he answers his phone.  He accepts the place, the help.  "I really want this, Mum."

 

Friday 9.30, the start of the first day of the rest of his life ... the help is there, the rest is down to him.

 

But it wasn't to be.  My son was arrested on the Wednesday and imprisoned on the Thursday.

 

You may think it sounds heartless, selfish even, but the strange calm feeling I have inside is so welcome.  I know where he is, he is safe, he is alive.

 

His road to recovery has started in a different place, perhaps not what we had hoped for, but it does bring hope nevertheless.  I used to say I dare not hope, for fear of disappointment, but now I am hoping with all my heart.

 

If the stigma and problems that come with mental health issues were not challenge enough, when coupled with the demon that is addiction (that's how I see it anyway) there is a long and uncertain road to face; dual diagnosis not only affects the person in or recovering from addiction, but their families and loved ones too.

 

Although he is only twenty one, my son has been struggling with dual diagnosis for longer than I care to remember.  Caring for him has been a turbulent, emotional, lonely journey, and one that I still tread.  It is only now that I have the support of Rebound that I have found the comfort of being able to share my torment with people who truly understand.  It is such a relief to be able to talk freely, in confidence and without fear of being judged.

 

The weekly meetings offer a safe environment to come and sahre the events of your week.  While the group is facilitated, there is empathy and friendly, informal advice, which is born out of personal experiences.

 

In short, Rebound has been my saving grace - don't suffer alone and in silence.

Turmoil

Unless you have experienced the turmoil of having a loved one in addiction, it is all but impossible to imagine the plethora or emotions you encounter.

 

It goes without saying, the pain of witnessing someone in the grips of any substance misuse is torture enough, but the effect it has on you, as a 'carer', is beyond pain.

 

'Carer' is a funny term because, as a parent, it's the last thing you see yourself as or, indeed, want to be.

 

My personal journey, parallel to that of my son's, has been one of despair, heartache and disbelief, one that has been looked upon with stigma and judged by those who are fortunate enough not to have experienced the like.

 

Up intil the occasion when a nurse, who was looking after my son at the time, asked "who supports you?" and suggested I contact Rebound.  It took me a few weeks to find the courage to go to the group, even then, and for some time, still I said nothing, but listened, intently.  It was is if every other person in the room was talking about my life, experiencing the same emotions and facing the same fears.  In time I felt 'safe' enough to share my story, confident in the knowledge that I was not going to shock anybody or be judged.

 

I could go on but, in short, Rebound has been my saving grace.

Contact us

You can telephone us on

07912 626623.

 

This is a dedicated phone line for Rebound.  If you would like us to contact you, please leave a message - we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can.

 

You can also use our contact form.

Group Meetings are held in the Carers' Centre

Rebound Carers' Group

117 Orchard Road

Southsea

PO4 0AD

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