I spent a good portion of my day yesterday speaking to a potential new patient. She, very clearly, was nearing the end of her road. She was depressed, lonely, and afraid. She had a very common story to tell. She told how alcohol had slowly but surely taken a greater and greater role in her life over the years. Leading her to the point where there was essentially nothing about her life that made sense to her any longer. She has been drinking, on most days, merely to stave off the shakes and the other symptoms of the DT’s. More than anything else as I was speaking to her I had the impression that she was tired, profoundly tired. I really related to her story, the pain and humiliation, the loneliness and despair, and being tired.
Reflecting On Past Experiences
Your Past Doesn’t Define You
Our conversation yesterday led me to spend a great deal of time reflecting on my own experience with alcoholism, and recovery. It has been a little over nineteen years since I have had to consume alcohol. I say “had to” intentionally, during the last several months of my drinking life there was nothing more I wanted to do than not drink. In fact, I would wake up each day and promise myself that I wasn’t going to. Everyday I had plans and designs built around this one ambition. Yet each day I would find myself drunk by mid-afternoon. Bewildered, terrified, and alone. I could not explain to myself how this kept happening. Nothing about my life made sense any longer. I was useless to all who knew me. Above all else I was tired. It was from this pit of despair and futility that a miracle happened.
I would love to share with you what my journey into recovery was like (and I may some day). The joys, and setbacks, the miracles that defy explanation that happened along the way. This however is not why I am writing today. I am writing today merely to extend a simple promise to any who read this that may be suffering like I was. When I first entered recovery a simple promise was made to me. I was promised that if I did the work necessary to stay sober, I would be able to have a life that made sense to me. What I have received is that and infinitely more. Upon the simple basis of minding the few things I learned early in recovery to do each day I have been able to stay free from alcohol for nearly half my life. In that time I have gone to university, been married, have two amazing kids, and am working in a career that is both personally meaningful and socially impacting. Just as importantly though it’s the simple things. I can sit in a quiet room at peace. My mind, for the most part, feels calm. I wake up most days excited for what the day will bring. This is not to say that this life has not been without its struggles. I have lost loved ones, bravely (and not so bravely) walked through health crisis, lost jobs, you name it. Life has continued to take its course, through it all, the good times and the tough, I have not found it necessary to put alcohol into my body (nothing short of a miracle)
Believing You Can Overcome Addiction
The First Step To Getting Clean Is Always The Hardest
Nineteen years ago if you would have told me this was possible I would not have believed you. If I had made a list of everything I had wanted out of life, I would have sold myself way short. All I wanted was to be able to make it through a day without needing to be drunk. What I have been given is a life of purpose, meaning, and usefulness, that gets better and better with each passing day.
Please know, I have not written this account to be self congratulatory. Rather, if you are reading this and are suffering from addiction I want to make you a simple promise. One that was made to me many years ago. If you will daily do the simple work that recovery requires, you can have a life that makes sense to you.
Until next time
Your friend in service,
VP of Communications & Market Development
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for substance use disorder call us today at 1.844.878.3221. We are here to help!