A Beautiful Breakdown & My Alcohol Treatment

As hard as it has been some days to live a life post-alcohol treatment, a life completely sans-alcohol, a life sans-social drinking, I am thankful. My breakdown was fortuitous, beautiful even. And, it has made this life more beautiful than ever before. Yes, I know that is as cliché as they come. But I would swear my life on it. In fact, I have sworn my life on it.

Without my breakdown and subsequent alcohol treatment, I wouldn’t treasure the beauty of my daughter’s blue eyes. I wouldn’t have my career today. I wouldn’t have the love of my beautiful wife.

Sure they say that they will love you always, no matter how bad it gets — “for better or for worse.” But there are just some things one cannot compromise on. It is truly the threat of “irreconcilable differences” that have made all the difference.

My wife, Clairice, in her infinite wisdom, presented me with an ultimatum: either I myself admitted into an alcohol treatment program or I would never see my daughter again. Bella was only 2 years old.

Enter: beauty.

It is difficult to pinpoint at what moment it was that my drinking got out of hand or when exactly my drinking went beyond what was socially acceptable at dinner parties. It was identical to the drunken debauchery of my mid twenties, but now I was in my mid thirties — with a young daughter in tow. I had not successfully made the transition from young adulthood to father. I knew I was technically and legally speaking a father. I knew Bella was now a person and not just an idea, but I’d never changed my partying behavior the way a father would. Call it an early onset mid-life crisis. Call it a nervous breakdown. Call it whatever you want, but Clairice called an interventionist. From my intervention I went directly for alcohol treatment at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches and the rest, as they say, is history. Good history.

I guess what they say is true. From death, comes life. Finally, at 37, I could put to rest my college partying “Old School movie . . . Frank the Tank” lifestyle. There was a beauty in that breakdown. A beauty I see every day. Thanks to my recovery, thanks to my alcohol treatment, thanks to Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches. Thanks to my Clairice.

Dave L.
Worcester, MA