Alcohol Rehab Shows I Was Living With An Enemy…

alcohol is the enemy as is rexThat image above might seem funny or cartoonish, but I assure you that it’s real. It’s meant to represent an enemy that many people face on a daily basis: Alcoholism. Even me…

My Alcohol Rehab Story: Life Lesson

Growing up in a family and in a country where drinking to excess was considered normal, not just normal but in fact you’re right of passage and patriotic duty, there was no doubt that as an alcohol addict in the making I was living in the right place.

I was handed my 1st drink at a very early age, this was for the purpose of sending me to sleep so the grown-ups could carry on with their party without having the responsibility of having a child to be cared for. As I got older, more children came along in the forms of siblings and cousins and the same was done with these. As a child and prior to embarking on my recovery I never questioned this, I had normalised it, as it was the case with lots of other children and families that I knew.

What this actually did was physically build up a tolerance for alcohol within me. I could drink more than any grown man by the time I’d reached 16 and along with that I’d picked up a lot more habits that would ultimately cause problems for me down the road.

What alcohol did for me I could never do for myself. It gave me confidence, the ability to speak to people I would never have dreamed of, it helped to drop inhibitions and it made me more open minded in regards to taking other substances or drugs that I would otherwise have passed over, had I been sober enough to make an informed decision on.

I never for one minute thought I had a problem with alcohol because it was such a large part of my upbringing and current life. I never got arrested but I did wake up in hospital on a few occasions after having my stomach pumped and after drinking so excessively that I’d actually become severely dehydrated and malnourished to the point that I keeled over in a club. Friends saw this as hilarious, and it was a great story to tell whilst drunk. It really didn’t stop me and only fueled the fire.

This type of drinking carried on for a long time, and more and more I would find myself in precarious situations. My parents despaired of me and my friends began to drift away, at that point I felt I had nothing to lose. I became unstoppable, unemotional and isolated, even within the relationship I was in (as co-dependant as it was). Even my son did not factor in my determination to self- destruct. I was offered drug and alcohol addiction treatment but on many occasions I turned it down, proclaiming to know better.

Fast forward a few years and I didn’t self- destruct! It’s actually a miracle that I woke up and saw what was going on in front of my eyes. The turning point was when I was at a low time in my life. I asked myself: “If I could go back again, how I would have changed things?”. I checked myself into an alcohol rehab facility. It was my wake-up call and the very thing that helped me realise my mistakes.  The reality is that I could never have changed things, my family were a family with the same compulsions and obsessions that I had, I just chose to explore other avenues of research. The reality is that I started to make poor choices because it was the easy way.

I decided that I wouldn’t be the same parent as mine had been. My new sobriety has given me the ability to be open and honest with my children around the reality of the negative consequences that come with using alcohol and substances addictively. I can’t stop them drinking, but I can give them the facts and educate them. They can make sure they know the consequences of alcohol addiction and possibly choose not to participate long before it starts.

Or… if I really want to scare them I just show them old photos of me!

Alcohol Rehab: An Interview With An Alcohol Addict

My Recent Interview With A Long-Time Alcohol Addict, Now in Alcohol Rehab

I have recently had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to a recovering alcoholic addict who was very happy to share his journey of alcohol and drug addiction recovery with me, in the hope that others will identify and take something from his story and hopefully seek drug addiction treatment.

Our subject is 52 years old, male, and identifies as having an alcohol addiction problem. At present he is in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and has been clean for over 10 years. He had tried on many occasions to obtain abstinence through various methods and treatments on his own, but due to not dealing with the core unresolved issues he would inevitably relapse time and time and love addiction

He had resigned himself to the fact that the possibility of dying as a result of his using was very real. He had a desire to stop using and made the decision to book himself into residential alcohol rehab. He was married at the time of admission though his wife was traveling abroad. Whilst in treatment he embarked on an affair with a young girl who was also in the treatment process, she was some way behind in terms of length of abstinence. He became very obsessive in this relationship. After completion of initial treatment he returned for aftercare at which point it had become very apparent to the therapists that there were illicit goings on between both clients, and both were confronted. Unfortunately, the girl relapsed, leaving him with feelings of guilt, abandonment and shame. On observation of his feelings and behaviours, his therapist pointed out that he additionally suffered from sex and love addiction, and he then made the decision to return to residential treatment to address the problem, riddled with doubt and shame. In this period he was isolated from female members of staff and clients and began to experience cramps, physical withdrawal, sickness and experienced severe feelings of fear. He realised how central his sex and love issues were to his addictive processes.

In this period of treatment he came to believe he was a good husband and partner. He had been married 3 times and since the age of 14 had no break in relationships. He realised that his role was one of a carer-rescuer and his pattern was to return to dysfunctional relationships in order to try to fix them, or seek another. The feelings he attached to his behaviours were neediness and loneliness. The behaviours manifested themselves in excessive flirting, seeking intensity and to validate relationships through sex. His journey of recovery was to partake in the HOW program which was devised by SLA to identify and address the negative patterns that people in the grips of this addiction go through. He looked at the relationship he had with his mother, which was one of dysfunction, and was abusive both sexually and emotionally. He had been conditioned to being nice, pleasing and provide sexual pleasure for the purpose of gaining attention and nurturing. He had learned to give all in terms of sexually, emotionally and materialistically in order to feel needed in all his relationships.

The HOW program along with therapy helped in come to terms with the trauma of his painful childhood, deal with the fact that although loving at times, his father was an unemotional work focused alcoholic and realised that he had not been successful in his quest for abstinence due to having never addressed this.

Whilst still under the care of the treatment facility in a move on house, and continuing in his program, it became apparent that no one had told him to use the Internet, this lead to a return to old behaviours, as he had muddied boundaries. He met with a girl, another addict who went in to rehab. Her time there didn’t last very long, and unfortunately she relapsed and died as a result. This plunged him into an 18 month long relapse.

He then attempted to seek sobriety through in AA, and whilst in this process, he met a young woman, who was younger and immature, he attempted to work at making the marriage work out, but due to differences in personalities it wouldn’t be successful, he had an affair and consequentially relapsed, he tried desperately to control his usage of drugs and alcohol. As a result of his affair, he married the woman and subsequently she became pregnant, this put enormous strain on the relationship and unfortunately again this led to divorce.

He finally realised he had to accept his powerlessness, break through the wall of being unable to share and accept that he couldn’t lay all the blame on others. He had to face his fear, and let go of the guilt and burden that was causing him to return to inappropriate relationships, and destructive behaviours.

He began his amends process by going to his ex-wives and owning his part in the break downs in the relationships, this proved difficult as his 1st wife would not initially accept his amends as she knew he had doubts and tried to mask it through seduction and manipulation. The 2nd one proved more successful as he did not have an agenda and it was straightforward, to the 3rd wife he admitted that he needed the relationship, she accepted this and they made a decision to be present and responsible parents to their child.

Today he is in active recovery and as I mentioned earlier has been for over 10 years. He is in a happy loving relationship and although he still has some fear as he is exposed to his drug of choice: alcohol, he has a program that he can utilise when he has the obsession to act out, as with all addicts, he is living in the disease. He has the awareness that the pain, shame and guilt can be reactivated through medicating himself through acting out his attachment addiction, making him vulnerable. He addresses this by attending 12 Step Fellowships and working with other addicts and people with dysfunctional backgrounds.

Alcohol Rehab: It All Works Out In the End

divorce from alcohol addiction

While this is a crazy story with a lot of twists and problems, unfortunately, it’s not all that uncommon for us here at One40 to help with. Today our subject has a good understanding of what is love, what is healthy and respectful sex is, and how to properly conduct a loving relationship. He’s happy and is excited to be moving past his alcohol addiction and sexual tendencies. His treatment and rehab classes are working and his life is more normal now than it has been for the last 35 years.

There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You have to take that first step, swallow your pride and take part in alcohol rehab.

If you aren’t sure if rehab is right for you yet, we advise you to contact us and speak with our trained professionals who deal with situations and problems you might be facing, every single day. Let us help!