Over the course of my lifetime because of my cloaked alcohol addiction, my relations with my wife and children have often been strained. My abusive behavior towards my family went from an occasional incident to a fairly routine occurrence. I was always in denial about having a drinking problem, because in the beginning I could remain in control most of the time. I guess it was when my mother passed away after losing her long battle with cancer that I crossed the line from alcohol abuse to alcohol addiction.
During my alcohol treatment, I realized the way I coped with my mothers\' agonizing slow death from cancer was to keep steadily increasing the level of my alcohol consumption. Then after her passing, it became my primary escape from how sad I felt when I thought how she was not in my life anymore. My wife eventually started suggesting to me that I needed to go for help because my drinking was out of control and my volatile mood swings were getting worse all the time. Because I was in complete denial, I took offense to her suggestions and told her she was not being supportive of me and I was just going through the normal grieving process. My intervention, of sorts, came only after my wife said she was going to divorce me if I did not go for help at a rehab facility offering inpatient alcohol treatment. Reluctantly I accepted…
My initial reaction to treatment was that it was stupid and unnecessary. At first, I remained steadfast in unwillingness to buy into their treatment program. I justified in my mind that I should be allowed to drink heavily because I lost my mother. I also remember thinking at the time “doesn\'t everyone get drunk on occasion anyway . . . maybe I just choose to get drunk a little more than most people wanted to.” I told myself that everybody else who was there for treatment probably had real drinking problems. I also assumed that I would not have anything in common with anyone.
I was very surprised to find out that most of the people I met during my alcohol rehab treatment were in fact very much like me. During the behavioral mental health therapy sessions, the stories I heard were very easy for me to personally identify with from my own life experiences. As I gradually began to accept and no longer deny my drinking problem, my recovery officially was able to get under way. As my mental clarity slowly began to improve, I could finally see my alcohol problem for the first time the way everyone in my life had always seen it.
Today I’d like to thank all of the others in my group, and all the counselors, and my favorite therapist Lucy. Because of all of you I was able to finally accept that I did in fact have a drinking problem, and I found the desire to do something about it. Because of this great alcohol rehab program, I have been sober for the past 20 months.
Staten Island, NY