“I’ve connected with my body and my feelings,” Cooper 34

After completing The Buttery Private residential wellbeing program Cooper, 34 said he has a new attitude to himself and to life.

“This program taught me how to nurture my soul. It gave me access to self-nurture and compassion. By nurturing one’s self the rest takes care of itself.”

The program, through mindfulness training teaches the value of being aware of the quality with which one does everyday things.

“Even something common-place like taking a shower gives you the opportunity for self-nurture and getting in touch with your body. In the program I learnt the value of giving yourself simple treats…like putting your PJs on the heater before wearing them.”

Cooper said that he used crystal meth between the ages of 18 and 24 and became addicted. He has used drugs on and off ever since to varying degrees. As his career as an executive developed, he focused more on his work and addiction to substances was replaced by an addiction to work. He said he has very high professional standards and this contributed to his anxiety.

He said he’d never been happy using drugs, but suffered “soul-destroying angst and a feeling of being disconnected from the world.”

Before undertaking The Buttery Private program he said had two sessions in a short-stay residential rehab and learnt about the “disease model” of addiction.

Nonetheless he struggled with his identity. He was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and realised he was at the early stages of work-related burnout.

So Cooper undertook the program as a circuit breaker to prevent more serious harm and to lead a better life…

His employer values Cooper’s contribution to the business and has an understanding attitude to Cooper and his issues. He has been given “salary continuance” by his employer’s insurer to allow him to take time out to prepare himself psychologically for a return to work.

“I can see a future for myself and a future life without alcohol or drugs. With what I’ve learnt at The Buttery Private I’ll continue taking real and practical steps to taking care of my mental and physical health.”

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Name changed and library image used to preserve confidentiality.