Two and a half years ago I changed my life. I didn’t want to live anymore because I couldn’t stop taking drugs. I had lost almost everything, my family, my boyfriend and my job.
I had no idea I had the disease of addiction, but I knew I had to seek help. A week later I went to Villa Paradiso Spain for 4 weeks of rehab treatment.
The first days I was completely unmanageable, but they didn’t give up on me and kept hope. After 3 days I surrendered myself because I knew my way was not working.
I had a month of great therapy from Matt, where I learned what the disease of addiction is, but more importantly, how to recover. I learned that I didn’t have a drug problem, but a life problem. I couldn’t deal with life as it is and I found it difficult to deal with my emotions and feelings and I still do, but I learned in Villa Paradiso Spain how to deal with this better.
Because Matt is an experienced expert himself, I could also take it better from him. He knew what he was talking about, was clean and helped others. I wanted that too.
Thanks to Villa Paradiso Spain, I was introduced to the 12 steps. I started my steps in the clinic and got introduced to the NA Meeting, which I still go to in the Netherlands. I felt connected with people who were like me and understood me, I had never felt this way before.

In Villa Paradiso Spain, I learned all the tools I needed to stay clean and in recovery back in the Netherlands. I dedicated the first year completely to my recovery. Meetings where I do service, work with a sponsor on the steps and volunteer work. I left my old friends behind and started to make new friends, a support group, women and men who are also in recovery and clean.
After a year, I became the coordinator of a drop-in centre for addicts in recovery. We facilitate 45 self-help groups a week and I lead a team of volunteers who work with us. I also coordinate activities related to the body mind and soul. Mainly for addicts in recovery. Nowadays, I am also a sponsor who helps other addicts who are just getting clean.
I used to work in the social services, I never expected that I could still do this work because of my addiction. Now I help others, with my story and I have turned my addiction into a strength.

I still have contact with the people from Villa Paradiso Spain. They ask me how I am doing and they are proud of me. I am very grateful to them for saving my life and for showing me the way to recovery.

Savanna, the Netherlands

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