If you had been a patient at our rehabilitation clinic you would probably remember Michael McAndrews, who works as a Commissioner Liaison. He has a very important job which involves speaking to NHS (National Health Service) representatives all over the UK.
We recently came across an old TV interview with Michael which presents his life story before he started working at Castle Craig. It’s quite dramatic.
You can see the video below, and afterwards read an update from Michael himself.
Michael’s update from December 2013:
Since this video was made around 17 years ago I have done many things.
I graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 1999 with an upper second class honours degree, BSc (Hons), in Politics and Sociology. In September 1999 I was elected to Oxford City Council and in 2000 to Oxfordshire County Council. I also worked in The House of Commons for two years as a Parliamentary Researcher for a Scottish MP.
I got involved with the Army Cadet Force and went on to establish a 40 strong cadet marching band in Oxfordshire that took part in international events, including the Malta Military Tattoo. We also performed at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium and many many events across the UK (you can watch some of our performance on my youtube channel).
In January 2012 I returned to Castle Craig Hospital where I am currently employed as the Commissioner and Referral Liaison. I deal with possible future patients and referrers in a bid to give more people the chance of recovery from alcoholism and addiction.
As a recovering addict carrying the message of recovery to the addict that still suffers is as important today, to me, as it was when this video was made.
When I read local newspapers or browse the internet I often find stories of despair and misery where addicts and alcoholics pay the ultimate price – jails, institutions or death. However there are other stories, seldom heard, where lives have been radically overhauled.
For me the programme of recovery at Castle Craig has been a highly effective conduit towards achieving this new way of life and of establishing a firm foundation that has led to long term recovery.
One thing that has remained concrete for me over the years is the steadfast belief that no human power could have relieved me from the terror and misery of my addiction. However with the help of my higher power, whom I choose to call God, the days of active addiction are a distant memory.
By facing life and taking it one day at a time I have been able, with the help of my Higher Power, to achieve many things. If it were not for the simple programme of recovery introduced to me at Castle Craig then the existence I called life would have been extinguished many years ago.