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 again.sex 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!

Alcohol Addiction and Step 9 From AA: Make Amends

Alcohol addiction causes chaos and devastation to every aspect of your life:

  • Your health
    • Both mental, physical, and spiritual
  • Your job
  • Your education
  • Your relationships with loved ones
  • Your friendships with those around you
  • Your home
  • Etc…

alcohol addiction step 9 aaIn a lot of instances your alcohol addiction may have ruined and destroyed your relationships with friends, colleagues, and importantly your family who you will need now more than ever to help you stick with your abstinence.

In your using; you may have done things that were dishonest or broken trust by lying, stealing, and/or manipulation. In some cases you may have become violent and caused injury to another person and damaged property. Dwelling on what you did is never a healthy option, but it is possible to work on amending the damage you have caused and work towards healing broken relationships. This specific part of addiction is addressed in Step 9 from the AA Twelve Steps. If you are partaking in a drug rehabilitation program in residential treatment, your therapists and counsellors will support you in writing an amends list and guide you on how best to approach it.

Step 9 From the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Program:

Step 9, as you may know, is the step that deals with the amends process. This is the step that helps towards repairing damage caused by your destructive behaviours and to set right past wrongs. Sometimes it is not appropriate to make amends, these instances would be when it would cause more harm than good, for example if you’ve had an affair and it would hurt your partner to know the level of dishonesty in your relationship when you were in the process of working on repairing the relationship. This is known as “making a mess, not amends”. Sometimes it is not physically possible to make amends, maybe if a person on your list has died, your counsellor or sponsor will advise on how best to approach this, maybe it will be in the form of a graveside amends.

Amends is not just about praying and reflecting on these wrongs. Whenever possible, practical action must be taken in order to repair what needs to be fixed. For example, if you stole money to pay for drugs, it is not enough to simply apologise, the money must be paid back. If you damaged property with your mistaken actions, that property must be indemnified by your hands.

Step 9 also states that members making amends “must not shrink from anything, even risking their reputations or going to jail.” Sometimes amends can just be about rebuilding a relationship you had neglected for years. Do not be disheartened if however an amends does not work in your favour, the person to whom you are making amends may not accept them. It is your intention that is worthy, and you have acted as a fully participating member of your recovery, and you will survive! You need to make the effort to make amends to those whom you’ve harmed, wherever and whenever possible, but only to the point where to do so will not bring further pain or harm to those individuals. If and when you encounter this rejection, the first thing that is advised is to call your sponsor, or therapist, who will usually explain that it completely normal, and you have “cleaned your side of the street”.

It’s also important to note that they can’t do it for you. This is something that you have to take responsibility for yourself and make amends for yourself. Having someone else even come close to doing this for you might end up in failure on your part. We don’t need to see that happen, especially if it’s what has helped to cause this alcohol addiction problem in the first place.

If you feel that your past life is littered with one consequence after another and one failed relationship after another that doesn’t mean that this is what the rest of your life has in store. Your life is what you make of it. You’re in recovery, you have been handed the best gift EVER and you have been given an amazing opportunity to put things right not only in your life, but for the others around you that you have harmed.

You are right where you need to be and you have the power to make life good for yourself!