Rachel Stephen recalls the lowest point in her alcohol addiction very clearly.
“I remember telling myself ‘forget you’ve got a son.”
“I thought I was never going to have Daniel again so I’d be as well forgetting I even had him,” Rachel explains
The heart-breaking moment was the culmination of a chaotic time which saw Rachel’s use of alcohol get darker and darker.
In six short months, Rachel went from successfully managing a hotel to being locked in a prison cell, officially homeless, having lost her job and, most tragically, her son.
Her Dad is a praying man though and at that time he very specifically prayed: “Send us people who can help Rachel.” Soon after, the family was made aware of women’s addiction recovery refuge, Benaiah, near Mintlaw.
When a family member then showed Rachel a leaflet for the centre, she remembers snatching the flyer out of their hands and immediately began calling in to Benaiah, desperate for help.
Soon after, she was taken in as a resident but Rachel by no means found it easy.
“The early days, in particular, were difficult as I had to face the emotions I’d been suppressing and blanking out with alcohol,” Rachel says, “I was really angry at people and blamed everybody but myself.”
“But then I saw great things happening in the lives of other girls and thought, I want some of that!”
“Changes started to happen in my own life and I got more and more hope.
“The staff did an amazing job facilitating the relationship between Daniel and I. They helped me feel I was a Mum again.
“In Benaiah, I learned to lean on God. I am now a massive believer in prayer, having seen the difference it makes in my own life and in the lives of others.
“I’ve changed in so many ways. I now no longer walk about heavy and have an appreciation for the small things.
“I used to always react to things with all guns blazing, whereas now I can take a step back and respond calmly.
“Best of all, things are great between Daniel and I. Highlighting how much our relationship has been restored, I remember in Benaiah fighting to just get to a place where I could take him for a walk to the shop for a sweet, with no-one else with us.
“A few months ago, just the two of us went on holiday to Spain for a week.
“I am so thankful and just want to be healthy and happy, providing a life for myself and my son.