Residential Alcohol Rehab vs Outpatient Only Rehab

My road to recovery was a very long one that began with many attempts at a local alcohol rehab on an outpatient basis. Every time, I would quickly fall off the wagon after finishing their outpatient program. Then, one day, one of my neighbors told me about this excellent residential alcohol rehab that saved his brother. I didn’t follow his advice initially, but I eventually did listen to him and wished I had went to the residential alcohol rehab first instead of last and saved myself a lot of grief and disappointment.

My almost fatal trip down my own road to perdition (borrowing the title of the Tom Hanks film) started when the rug was swept out from under my feet by a series of nearly simultaneous events. Right after my youngest daughter left to attend an out of state college, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. He confessed that he was seeing someone else and had only been waiting for our kids to grow up and go to college. I was in a state of disbelief and felt like the bottom dropped out from underneath me. I never felt so alone before. I’d grown up in a big family with a lot of noise and activity. I never realized how accustomed I had become to always having somebody around.

I became really depressed with no one around to keep me company anymore. I didn’t even have our family dog Rusty anymore; he had died of old age 6 months earlier that same year.

I found myself counting the days until when I was allowed to visit my daughter at her college, but it was over a thousand miles away. In the interim I started to drink wine every day. At first I only had a glass a day. Then it became two glasses a day, then three glasses. Then after returning from visiting my daughter at her campus for parents weekend, I was even more depressed knowing I wouldn’t be seeing her for another couple of months. So on my first night back home, I finished a whole bottle of wine and officially began my many years of alcohol abuse.

I knew that I was gradually drinking more and more all the time, but for some reason it didn’t seem to bother me. At first I rationalized my drinking by assuring myself that I had the right to drink if I wanted to, after all it wasn’t illegal like taking drugs. On occasion when I did question myself, I would tell myself that this was just my own way of dealing with getting older. Over time I came up with many reasons why I had turned to alcohol, except for the truth of course: that I was using alcohol as a way to cope with the feelings of isolation and loneliness that were thrust upon me.

Then, one afternoon, I got a big wake up call when I got into a car accident after drinking and driving and wound up in a ditch around the corner from my house. I was extremely lucky to have my car land in a ditch in front of the house of someone I knew. He was able to tow my car out for me and brought me home without involving the police.

He knew I was drinking and told me a whole story about how his brother went to a residential alcohol rehab in Florida a few years back and is still sober today and doing great. He gave me their info and I did look into it, but decided I wanted to stay local and get help from some place that was close by to where I lived.

So I went to a local alcohol rehab (several different times) on an outpatient basis but wound up relapsing every time after completing their program.

Then, one day, I bumped into my neighbor again, and he asked if I ever checked out the residential alcohol rehab that he recommended to me. I told him I wanted to stay local and how I had basically given up on rehab after my many failed attempts at the local outpatient rehab I had tried. He told me that his brother also tried a local outpatient rehab in his state too before going to this inpatient alcohol rehab in Florida. So I took the info again, but this time I actually contacted them and went.

The residential alcohol rehab turned out to be everything my neighbor promised me it would be. Comparing it to my local rehab would be like comparing going out for a great steak dinner to staying at home and just having hamburger helper for dinner. While I was in my alcohol rehab treatment during one of my behavioral mental health sessions I learned the root cause of my dependency problem (and subsequently my drinking problem) was my deep-seated fear of being alone. When my biggest fear became real, it also made my self-esteem and self worth take a big nosedive too.

I am writing this today now that I am 6 months sober for the first time in many years after finally going to a residential alcohol rehab. I hope other people who were once like me and have relapsed after only trying their local rehab or outpatient treatment might read this. You owe it to yourself (or your loved one) to experience residential alcohol rehab treatment and the best chance for a successful recovery.

Wendy F.
Bedford, NH