I don’t know if there is a cure for alcoholism or any other kind of addiction. You can harness it, you can manage it and you can stifle it, but we’re all just a few stressful situations away from relapse. It’s been my experience that there are two things that will keep you sober: strength-and we’re talking serious strength-and a program where you’re treated like a person, not like the archetype drunk. You will not do this by yourself, at least with any degree of success, nor will you be able to put forth a half-hearted effort if you expect to stay sober. Recovery is for life and if you’re serious, life becomes recovery.
I learned the value of professional treatment when I tried in vain to detox in my bedroom. After ten years of straight-up, last-drop, party-hard drinking, I couldn’t just tip my hat, thank alcohol for all the fond memories and move on down the road; I had to bleed, sweat and pay the price if I wanted my freedom. I don’t even know if you could call my first relapse a relapse, because I never actually quit drinking all the way. After only a week, I was back to driving partially drunk and hiding bottles wherever they could fit and be left alone.
Six months later I checked myself into an outpatient rehab clinic. Although I gave them a small fortune every month, I was still treated like a second-class citizen and constantly told that I wasn’t strong enough to take rehab seriously,
I left after three months and never wanted to hear the words “rehab” or “treatment” again. By this time, my drinking was affecting my business, my marriage and pretty much every other aspect in my life and for the first time in a long while, I had no idea what to do. This was a sickening and paralyzing feeling that I was never prepared to deal with.
When I was researching on the web for a rehab I learned that some rehabs don’t even have doctors on staff! I found a luxury alcohol rehab program in Palm Beach, Florida, and at first I thought that luxury was just another term for expensive. But as I found out more I learned that when it came to rehab it meant receiving the best treatment. From the best doctors to vacation-style rooms to every possible perk you can think of. I wanted to try something different and this certainly sounded like it fit the bill. It turned out to be the exact opposite of my previous program, and exactly what I needed to get help. I had the best therapists, next-level service and time to heal in a way that I was comfortable with. I didn’t think treatment like this actually existed, but I’m so glad that I found out just when I needed it the most.
The luxury rehab I went to was in Singer Island and it was really nice. But it was not like a palace or some huge mansion that you imagine a famous celebrity living in. When I read up on some of those palatial home looking places they sounded more like spas than somewhere you go to get clean & sober.
I stayed for a month, and felt the best I had felt since I was in high school. I learned yoga and meditation and how nutrition and exercise can make all the difference during your recovery. Before entering treatment I was a surly drunk who valued two things: privacy and alcohol. After 30 days and frankly a life-changing stint in rehab, I am filled with great aspirations for the future again. No matter how far gone you think you are, you can always can better if you don’t give up. But remember that all rehabs are not the same and you don’t need to go to a celebrity looking mansion to get clean and sober. The key is to find the right rehab for you.