I had been fighting issues with alcohol addiction for five+ years. I simply couldn’t get it through my sick skull that alcohol would eventually take me out for good. I wanted to be sober, but still wanted to be “normal.” My life in denial was simply not working.
What happened? I finally gave up and realized alcohol was my dependent. Previous stints of being sober were amazing, but there was always something missing. It seemed no matter what I was doing, I always had a beer at my side. It felt natural and a part of my life for over 30 years. It wasn’t until later that I found out I had to change everything.
Several treatments to sober up and attempts to stay that way had failed. Perhaps I didn’t REALLY want sobriety. I only wanted to clean up long enough to be able to try a drink again. Every time, I experienced the same outcome: misery and despair. A few drinks worked great in the moment, but I couldn’t stop, and I didn’t want to once I got started. I simply did not surrender to the fact that I had a problem and the solution was alcohol until my “solution” stopped working.
One last, ugly, relapse and I surrendered. I decided to go to the Lookout at Choice House for extended treatment and promised to do whatever they recommended. I knew this probably meant sober living afterward (which I wasn’t to keen on), but I agreed and surrendered to whatever they told me to do. After all, whatever I was trying was not working. At Choice House, I learned to LIVE sober not just BE sober. And, I even developed firsthand experience with having fun while being sober.
I have now been sober for 8 months, which is over two times longer than any period I’ve had gone before. Now and then, the thought of a drink still sounds good, especially when things are going well (a celebration if you will). However, now I ask myself if “getting away with one” is really worth it? And I know it is not.
It took me a while to learn this and Choice House really helped drive it home. I owe the entire staff there a debt of gratitude that I can only repay by sharing my experience with others that may struggle the way I used to, and sometimes still do.