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The 2016 Family Voices Competition Winner

9 Jan 2017

BBC Radio London presenter Nikki Bedi with Family Voices competition winner Annette Villis.


Adfam’s Family Voices Competition allows friends and family members who have lived through someone else’s substance use to express their thoughts and feelings in a creative and constructive way.

Congratulations to this year’s winner, Annette Villis, who was presented with the award at our annual Carol Concert at the start of December.

Read the winning entry below.


A letter to my daughter

by Annette Villis

I held you with such joy when that moment arrived the one that marked your birth

All those years ago, watching you as you grew, we marked the milestones at school, exams, sports and friendships made

Celebrated your achievements, laughed with you, cried with you, hurt when you hurt

Life was not always easy, there were many ups and downs, but we tried our best to walk onwards

You were the clown, the one who supported your friends, and the one who was loyal, feeling deeply

When you passed your exams, thought about career options, and the world was you oyster

The world of work beckoned, Her Majesty’s Armed Services, “let’s give it a try” was the cry

It did not work out as you hoped but you tried and that was the main thing, so much spirit

Adventurous, cheeky, fun loving, sporty, independent, competitive, good friend, loving daughter and sister

The next big step, marriage, then some more happy news, a baby was coming was it a boy or a girl?

Out of the blue the big black cloud appeared, post-natal depression hit you hard, desperation, fear

Is that when it claimed you this demon called drink, when it numbed you stopping you think?

Slowly but surely you slipped right away, it did not seem to matter nothing we could do or say

Could prevent that slide down the long slippery slope into the world of ADDICTION, you just couldn’t cope

If only, if only you had not got so lost, would you have hit rock bottom at such a great cost?

Could we have prevented, done more to assist, when you followed that path so hard to resist

Arrested for drunk driving, the loss of your children, your freedom if convicted and in jail

That was the time when reality hit, no easy choices, no escape and no quick fix

Where had you gone to, would you ever come back, all the wishing and hoping to turn the clock back

Then through all the sorrow, despair and the pain shone a glimmer of light at your darkest of hours

Was this the last chance for a new page to turn, Focus 12 could help you if you were willing to learn?

It was torture that day when you went through the Green Door, the last chance saloon, no more

Then GRADUATION you’d done it, those months of hard slog, you started reappearing out of the fog

All the work and the tools that you learned to use are still there, meetings to help remembered each day

I took my seat at the ceremony, my heart bursting with pride, the start of a journey, tears that I cried

We know the road is not easy, take each day at a time, but you have it in you to keep to your path

Welcome back daughter, sister, aunt and Mum, we love and support you, the Addict in Recovery that you have become.

Well Done.