Vinny – Winit Wonsejullarat Senior Therapeutic Manager at Hope Rehab
Vinny’s own journey into recovery and addiction work started when he began drinking in New Zealand, he discovered that drinking helped him fit in very well with the Rugby and Racing scene, gaining acceptance. It was later when he traveled to the United States hoping to further his studies he continued using alcohol and partying more and more.
‘Very shortly I decided to discontinue my studies. I started working in the business world and vaguely sensed I wasn’t making too much headway but this did not bother me too much. After carrying on in this fashion for another five years, I discovered marijuana and started using that in addition to alcohol for another ten years. By this time, I knew that I had a problem and wished to stop using marijuana and found I could not. I began to read as much as I could about the problem of addiction and I felt I knew the problem so well but somehow I could not stop. I had always had a keen interest in recovery and educated myself in the mid 80’s reading many good books. I discovered that self-knowledge was not sufficient to overcome my addiction.
In 1992, I attended my first AA ( alcoholics anonymous ) meeting. In 1996 I was admitted into a drug rehabilitation in Portland, Oregon and remained there for a year but no sooner had I gotten out, I resumed my using again against my will. This baffled me. It was in 1998 that my addiction had taken me to harder Drugs discovered
It is a truth that the ” disease of addiction” is progressive. A few years later, I entered the treatment center again and that too did not get me off the drugs. I realize now that one crucial ingredient had been missing: I had been unwilling to do what had been told I needed to do on a daily basis by those who had been drug free for some length of time. Despite attending AA meetings almost on a daily basis, and knowing so much about the disease of addiction, I could not remain abstinent. It took another four horrific years after my last treatment to reach a point of “surrender”, that was when I had no more answers or excuses. I remember well that night lying in a large room with twelve other men. The fight was over, a great relief came over me and I became teachable and open minded. I entered my last sober housing completely beaten and absolutely willing to do whatever it took to recover. I did everything that I was told to do in the 12 step fellowship and I was abstinent for three and a half years. I had begun to stop doing what was suggested I continue to do since addiction is a chronic condition and there came a time when I felt I needed to drink again and I did. I decided to return to Thailand and continued to drink for the next two years. I had the good fortune of being helped into a treatment center in Bangkok and have now been clean from all mood and mind altering chemicals for over five years including psychiatric medication I had been taking for over 20 years. My life continues to get better and better.
I had also been active in the 12 step fellowship AA & NA here in Thailand for the last seven years. I have participated in every facet of recovery life here and have been privileged to help carry the recovery message into the Thai community. Participating in seminars, conventions, translation of recovery literature and helping as a link between many recovering English speakers and native Thai speakers. We have now established several Thai speaking meetings around the country as the message of recovery continues to grow here in Thailand where it is so needed.’
Vinny returned to Sydney, Australia, in February 2016 by invitation from WHOS Rehab Centre to train as an advisor to Thai national treatment center to help train Thai treatment staff