A Florida Alcohol Detox helped me salvage my career

Ever since I graduated high school, I’ve worked an average of sixty hours per week. I’m a restaurant manager, so I never had time for a vacation and worked through pretty much every holiday over the last ten years. So when it came time for me to get help for my alcohol abuse problem, I was grateful to learn the amount of local Florida alcohol detox options at my disposal. I’ve always loved the restaurant business and planned to spend my professional life dedicated to it. The idea was to work hard and save money every year until I was thirty, at which point I’d open up my own place. I never planned to take a detour through a Florida alcohol detox at any point when putting together my business plan.

My work was, and still is, really all I have and all I know. I never found time to start a family, and all of my relationships have been with girls I worked with that developed out of a mutual need for basic companionship. None my relationships ever seemed to last more than a couple of months.

I was 25 years old and basically on top of the world for someone in my profession. I’d spent the past seven years paying my dues, killing myself for peanuts in order to gain experience managing a restaurant. I finally had the opportunity to take the lead in one of the hottest new places in Miami and felt I was more than ready. I didn’t know that a stint in a alcohol detox facility would be part of my on-the-job training. I’ve always loved to drink – at the end of the day, there was no better way for me to unwind than with a vodka, a glass of wine, or a microbrew in my hand. Everyone in my professional and social circles drank, so I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. By the time I was twenty-three, alcohol was a huge part of my life. Customers loved that I actually knew what I was talking about and could make a wine recommendation at the drop of a hat.

As I was set to begin this job, it seemed like I had it all laid out in front of me. I thought I’d run this place for a few years, finish making a name for myself, continue to bank money, and fulfill my dream of opening my own place right on schedule. My first night there I got creamed. I was screwing up, left and right, and the pressure just got the better of me. I’d never managed a place of this magnitude before. I wound up messing up the seating chart, firing two employees before the night was through, and was really second-guessing myself all night long. When I finally managed to close up shop, I just sat there, took a deep breath, and poured myself a glass of vodka…and another…and another. By the time I was three deep, the whole night didn’t seem like such a disaster, so I got in my car and went home. Between the fatigue of a sixteen-hour shift and the three cocktails I had in my system, I was in no shape to drive, and was shown as much when I took out the barrier in the parking garage at forty miles per hour. Thank god nobody saw me, and I managed to get home without any more incidents.

The next few days went a lot smoother. There were a few kinks, but I felt like I was finally hitting my stride. Every night I would celebrate, or lament, the evening with a few drinks. This nightly ritual escalated to drinking during shifts and after-hours. About four months into the job, I started missing shifts because of my drinking. I would always cover it up with some life-or-death excuse, and would somehow manage to get over on the owner. One day, however, I showed up to work stinking of vodka, and he immediately grabbed me by the back of my shirt, sort of like how a mother cat picks up a kitten, and hauled me into his office. I can’t remember the exact words he used, but he basically said he knew I’d been drinking more, and he tried to excuse it because I was doing a good job, in a high-pressure environment. He also laid out the cold, hard truth that I was easily replaceable, and if I didn’t get some help and dry out at a detox immediately, I’d be out on the street before lunch. I said before that my work was all I had, and I meant it. Comfortable in the idea that my job would be there when I got back, I agreed to his ultimatum, and apologized up and down.

I knew I couldn’t go away for my detox — any uncertainty about my length of absence would have put someone else in line for my job. I started researching alcohol detox options and was happy to find that there were a lot in my area. I still didn’t think I was addicted to alcohol, but felt that, if this would help me keep my job, I had to do it. The withdrawal period illustrated just how dependent I’d become, and after completing my Florida alcohol detox program, I knew I had to basically stay away from drinking altogether. With the help of outpatient counseling and a strong support system, I’m starting to get back on track for my life’s plan.

The counselor I started seeing after I completed thier program suggested that loneliness combined with the pressure of my profession might have led to my drinking problem. I don’t know if he was right or not, all I know is that my drinking almost cost me a good job that I’d been working toward my entire life.

Thankfully, my boss kept my job for me, and I’m doing a much better job without putting so much pressure on myself. I realize now how lucky I was that this happened when it did, before my drinking got any worse and ruined my career.

Stacy H.
Miami, FL