When you’re struggling with addiction, it’s hard not to feel like you’re broken; like there’s some kind of a defect within you that makes you do the things you do. You look at people happily living their lives with their families, and you think to yourself: “What do they know that I don’t?” You spend all of your sober time beating yourself up because you aren’t able to quit drinking and you get yourself so worked up that you go running back to the bottle. I spent 3 years trying to outrun my reality, but eventually I had to face it and get help.
I started drinking way before I should have and liked it too much to stop. That, in a nutshell, is the story of how my alcoholism started. There wasn’t any deep-rooted trauma or family problems; I just loved how being intoxicated made me feel. I was the life of the party and didn’t have a care in the world when there was a beer in my hand. Life was simple: booze=happiness. At first, like everyone I suppose, I didn’t even think that I had to worry about quitting because I could quit any time I wanted to. As my drinking started to disrupt my life, I found it harder and harder to stay sober, even on important occasions.
I can’t tell you how many mornings, I woke up and said to myself: “I’m not going to have a drink today” and wound up breaking that promise to myself. It was every day for over a year. Finally, I just stopped lying to myself, but that’s where my self-awareness stopped. For about a year after that, I resigned myself to the fact that I was a slave to alcohol and grew more and more depressed as a result. I felt a crushing hopelessness every minute of the day and was heartbroken every time I went back to alcohol to escape.
It got to where my depression became a daily reality. I isolated myself from my family, gave up on my career and was just going through the motions. Depression and alcoholism were crippling me so I finally decided to enter holistic addiction treatment. A friend of mine told me about the concept of holistic rehab and said that it could help with my depression as well as my drinking. At that point in my life, I was ready for a complete change. I was in treatment for thirty days and it was the most rewarding month I’ve ever had, before or since.
Treatment gave me the strength and the independence to tackle my shortcomings without relying on alcohol. When I left, I knew there was a committed and invested team behind me, cheering me on in my recovery. I’ve learned to manage my depression and that has resulted in my continued abstinence from alcohol. For a long time I felt broken; like there were pieces of me scattered all over the planet. Treatment helped to put me back together.