At the time of writing this testimonial I have been sober for 425 days! I actually had to check my calendar because, these days, I really don’t even count. Some would argue that your last day sober is the most important, but I would argue that the 21 days spent under the care of Matt and his team at Villa Paradiso are the ones that will shape my life going forward.
When I entered Villa Paradiso, I had spent the previous five years slipping into what I could only describe as chaotic drinking. I had spent most of my adult life being a social drinker without it being an issue or concern. However, a series of personal life changes led me to a situation where my desire to drink became more powerful than my desire not to and, the destructive effect this was having on both myself and my family was snowballing and rapidly spiralling out of control.
After much research, I decided to contact Villa Paradiso and I suspect making that contact ultimately changed / saved my life. I instantly respected Matt as he was in no way judgemental, and he openly admitted to having gone through the challenges that I was about to undertake myself. That gave me great hope and a belief that I could do it! My time spent at the Villa was both enlightening and serene, but surprisingly was fun as well. I met a few really good people who were also undergoing treatments and we all spent many nights laughing in the TV room or smoking cigarettes or chatting at the pool. I learnt that I did not need a drink to be happy!
Since leaving the Villa I have had to come to terms with the death of my Mother, and I have just spent 12 weeks in lockdown in the UK – if those events have not driven me to drink I cannot imagine what will!
I am eternally grateful to all the staff at Villa Paradiso, and the role that Matt played during my stay and the genuine interest that he has maintained since I left is not very easy to put into words. I find its often best not to contrive something to say so I won’t, but I think Matt knows.