I’d spent the first half of my professional life abusing cocaine, and was convinced that it was the only way to stay ahead. I graduated at the top of my class from a respectable university, and was always an over-achiever, but never could have prepared myself for the break-neck pace of the working world. I started working in finance right out of school in 1983, and should have recognized from the start that almost all of my co-workers would someday wind up in executive drug rehab. I was working 14-hour days alongside the rest of my colleagues. None of us had any time for a social life, so we overcompensated by throwing insane parties for each other. Among other little “social stimulants” was an excess of cocaine everywhere you looked. I came late to the party, both literally and figuratively, and was convinced that I’d never touch the stuff, and that my career was too important. A drug problem was never in plans, nor was executive drug rehab.
As time went on, and I fell deeper and deeper in my social circle, coke just became too hard to resist. Every professional triumph was celebrated with “a couple of lines”. My co-workers had this tremendous energy, and were getting things done faster than I could take off my jacket. I first dabbled in cocaine in July of 1986. From that point on, the timeline wrote itself-I had a full-blown addiction by 1988, but was still able to fool everyone, even myself, into thinking that I could stop any time and didn’t need executive drug rehab. For about five eight years, my routine was the same: work an average of 90 hours per week, perform at my best, and earn while dedicating weekends to cocaine and all of the “fun” that came with it. After a while, I really thought I was invincible. I kept my extra-curricular activities confined to the weekends while maintaining a stellar career. I even got married, and my wife never once suspected that I was using. I had heard these tragic tales of my colleagues succumbing to their cocaine addiction, and winding up in executive drug rehab, but never thought it would happen to me. Even during the infamous savings and loan bailout, I was at my best, and thought I had cocaine to thank for it.
I was married for about three years before my addiction started to show. I know some addicts with money have pointed to a singular moment when their significant other finds out they have a problem, and issues an ultimatum of executive drug rehab or divorce, but I was never given an option. Once my wife found out I was using cocaine, she left, taking half of everything I had with her. Although the detox I experienced during executive drug rehab was tough, I still count my divorce as the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I’m still paying for it, and not earning a fraction of what I used to, but I’ve learned to live with it, and find balance. When my wife first left, however, I was convinced the world was ending. I took such a huge financial hit in such a short amount of time and thought there was no coming back…unless I did more cocaine. This thought process eventually landed me in executive drug rehab.
Right around the time I was starting to put my divorce behind me, I had also decided to give up cocaine by myself. I had noticed my lifestyle was taking its toll on me physically, and really wanted to slow down. After two failed attempts at sobriety that lasted for about a week each, I knew I couldn’t beat this without executive drug rehab, or some other kind of professional treatment option. Rather than do what I had to do, and get adequate treatment, I just decided that this would be my life and I would have fun for as long as I could. This brings me to the night I almost died.
In 1994, I was sitting in my apartment watching TV. Out of nowhere I got a sudden chest pain and found it impossible to catch my breath. I tried to ignore it, but when you can’t breathe, you can’t really do anything else. After about five minutes of heaving and holding my chess, I decided to do the prudent thing and call 911. As I was being rushed to the hospital, the medics asked me if I’d been using any drugs-of course I lied and said I wasn’t. The next thing I knew, there was a white light and nothing else. I woke up in a hospital room to a relieved best friend, and a stern and angry doctor. Apparently my little half-truth about not using cocaine prompted them to treat me as though I had a legitimate heart attack. The treatment they used when mixed with cocaine is incredibly fatal, and nearly killed me. From that day on, I knew it was executive drug treatment or one, perhaps two more nights like this before death.
After receiving a clean bill of health and a psych consult, I made arrangement with the hospital’s addiction services counselor to check into a very nice and reliable executive drug rehab program. This was the best decision I ever made. It’s been 16 years since I’ve even been in contact with cocaine. I took some hits at my job for being out for so long, but gained enormous perspective and got my life back on track. The temptation is there every day. I did cocaine for ten years, and being high was a big part of my life. Now with the strength that I acquired during my executive drug rehab program it is a whole lot easier to resist the urge to use cocaine again.