On the outside, Tom was a seen as a ‘made man’ – he had a loving wife, two beautiful children and a successful career. Despite battling depression on and off, Tom had become a director for a large construction company – he even drove a Jaguar and took regular holidays at exclusive resorts. Shares in the firm he worked for and a forthcoming exit meant that Tom was likely to make a lot of money in the next few years.
It was no secret that Tom was under a lot of pressure, yet neither colleagues nor friends knew that behind closed doors, Tom was feeling suicidal and drinking to oblivion most nights.
Early on in his career Tom had taken to getting smashed in the hotel bar; something he’d always done and it was very much acceptable, especially in the industry he worked in. Four or five years ago, however, Tom had gotten fed up of drinking in bars with work colleagues and he’d take a 6 pack of lager to his room and drink in front of the telly. Gradually beer turned to spirits and for the last 18 months Tom had been having to drink a bottle of spirits a night– to ‘get the job done’, as he described it.
The catalyst to Tom seeking help was when he collected his daughter from school having been away in Scotland and arrived home to his wife who confronted him about alcohol on his breath and why he was driving their daughter when he was clearly under the influence.
Tom broke down and his wife called his best friend who happened to be the co-founder of the firm Tom worked with. With his friend’s help, Tom spoke with his employer the next day, who were retained by Port of Call. The HR director gave Tom the phone number for Port of Call and he arranged to meet Martin later that week. Martin, himself a recovering alcoholic, organised for Tom to have a detox and on-going therapeutic support.
Tom’s firm had always suspected he had a drinking problem and they were delighted when Tom courageously came forward. The HR director who had worked with Port of Call a number of times says : “We’re a company who genuinely want to look after our own. We view alcoholism and addiction as an illness that can be treated – not something that calls for a disciplinary process”
Tom is 18 months sober and he’s chairperson at his local AA meeting in Warwickshire.
Disclaimer: Genuine case studies from Port of Call Treatment Services. Permission has been sought from clients to tell their stories in the hope that they inspire others. Names have been changed to respect our client’s anonymity.