Bottom of the problem comes from within, not the bottle

IAN Ratcliffe spent more than 40 years boozing before he realised his issue was not what was inside the bottle - it was what was inside him.

"My problem was me, and as soon as I started to fix me up, I didn't need alcohol any more," he said.

For the last nine years, the recovered alcoholic, 69, has shared his experience with other addicts in fortnightly talks in Brisbane.

Now Mr Ratcliffe wants to step up his level of assistance to other addicts.

At an age where he could sit back on the pension and watch television, he is looking to establish a residential facility for recovering addicts to restart and has identified the area north of Brisbane, particularly the Sunshine Coast, as a suitable location.

"I'd like to set it up north of Brisbane because I know there's not a lot to help people with problems," he said.

"I don't want to call it a rehabilitation place. I want to call it an emotional growth centre because all addicts come from a place of emotional insecurity, I believe," he said.

Mr Ratcliffe wants to rent an acreage property with four to six bedrooms for the centre, which he plans to call Iamme.

He plans to run it on a not-for-profit basis and work towards sustainability by growing fruit and vegetables on the property.

Mr Ratcliffe said he hoped to set others on the path to recovery that it took him most of his life to find.

"I've had a lot of help for the alcohol over the years but in the end, I've had to do the work myself," he said.

"When I realised that I can't change yesterday, yesterday is gone ... and I started taking responsibility for who I am right now, and stopped blaming, the world opened up," he said.

"I've now got to the stage where all these subconscious negatives I had, they are now positives.

"At the time, they weren't positive ... but now I'll be looking back with new eyes at the things that happened to me and I realise I wouldn't be the person I am.

"My whole existence has been getting to this stage and now I just want to give back."

If you would like to offer Mr Ratcliffe a property, email igriron@hotmail.com or call 0401 550 670.


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