When you’re neck-deep in the throws of an addiction, about to drown in it forever, you don’t really give much thought to treatment terminology or theoriesâ€¦but you should. The only thing that pulled me out of the depths of my dependency was when I went to a Florida dual diagnosis rehab for help. I’d been an alcoholic for about six years, a heavy drinker for about three before that. My alcoholism cost me two marriages, thousands of dollars, one car, and all of my self-respect. Through the years, I would build relationships with people only to have them be torn apart by my drunken and erratic behavior.
I realized I needed help pretty much right after my second divorce. I lost a lot of money, was having problems at work, and would turn to alcohol to soothe literally every little pain. I’d noticed that my drinking escalated even more when I lost someone particularly important in my life. When I went for dual diagnosis rehab help in Florida, they explained that this reaction to what I felt was abandonment was a knee-jerk behavior that simply perpetuated the cycle. If I had learned this after my first divorce, I might have been able to get help sooner. But I now believe that everything happens for a reason.
After a close friend of mine – the only one I’d managed to keep during all this – forced me to look in the mirror and see what I’d become, I agreed to get help. He’d noticed the pattern long before I did, and suggested that I needed help for depression and anxiety as well as alcoholism. At first I refused to believe that I was clinically depressed, the problem with this denial was that I met all the criteria for it. Eventually, my friend wore me down, and I knew I would need to find a facility that treated both my drinking problem and the depression it caused and perpetuated. I found several places searching on the Internet that just listed dual diagnosis on their websites, but they didn’t appear to really specialize in it. After carefully going through all of the different websites, I choose a place in Palm Beach that actually seemed to be dual diagnosis specialists.
What I learned during my dual diagnosis treatment counseling sessions there was that my early anxiety and depression probably initially led to the development of my drinking problem. The comprehensive treatment I received at this Florida dual diagnosis rehab center was really excellent, and they gave me the inner-strength I never had to finally stop drinking. I’ve been sober for a little over a year already. Sometimes I still get sad when I think about how much of my life I already have wasted because of my alcohol addiction. But one of the things I learned while in rehab was it does no good to dwell on the mistakes of our past, but rather to learn from them for our future.