Hi, my name is Valerie Farragher, and I was a drunken mother of five children.
I’ve been to addiction residential rehabilitation four times, been hospitalised dozens of times and detoxed just as many more.
But the same model of care and the same care plan was used on me every time!
Wasn’t it Albert Einstein that said?
“Insanity; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”
So, why every time was I told, “You just weren’t ready or honest enough with yourself the last time.” Or “You haven’t been working your programme.” Whatever the reason was, it was my entire fault. Yet as one American Commentator says
“No where else in medicine is it okay to blame the patient when treatment doesn’t work”
It was only after my suicide attempt and my daughter Louise screaming that we were not leaving the hospital until I saw a psychiatrist was post-natal depression diagnosed. Since then I’ve made a full recovery.
Ten long years
Initially after the tears came the anger. Ten years of my life, Ten long, hard, suffering, painful, exhausting years had been taken from me and my family by depression and alcohol misuse. A lot that happened to me could have been avoided. Me begging to die, my husband, children and family and friends hurting, crying, distressed. I have to make sure this does not happen to anybody else.
I have n’t even a Junior Certificate and I wasn’t exactly the “intelligent” type. But I’ve educated myself, learned how to work with different ideas, cultures, societies and know that we are all human and have a right to live as we see fit without prejudice and judgment.
I want alcohol treatments to change
I want alcohol treatment services to change, and I realised I would have to change them. I need to do this for the millions of children yet to be born in Ireland and abroad that may succumb to alcohol abuse, or be forced to grow up with an addicted parent.
So, I’ve surrounded myself with people and experts who are fighting for change and started up a service in Mayo, for mothers like me who were suffering from depression and being treated for alcohol abuse. I’ve written a book and appeared on TV and radio talking about my experiences.
I want to reach more people
But it was not enough, I want to reach more people, and keep the cost as low as possible so you don’t have to have private health insurance to afford it. So with my team we’ve researched all the options.
We decided providing an online service means more people can benefit and it costs less. It also makes it easier for you to get the right type of treatment the first time you ask for help no matter what your reasons are for abusing alcohol.
My motto in life now is;
“If at first you don’t succeed, try it a different way!”
So in Lifewise we’ve brought together a wide range of tools to help you take the right action for you – whatever those actions may be.
So you’re very welcome to Lifewise, a very different type of personal service where you are always in control and we respect your choices and your decisions.
PS if you would like to see the RTE TV documentary I featured in please click here.