Taking Back My Life

I had to stop to cry several times while I was writing this; but hopefully it will help others who are having a hard time getting help for alcohol addiction see that there is hope. They say now, that relapse is part of recovery. If that's the case, then I was in recovery for about eight years. I was the kid who never wanted to stop partying, until one day I turned into the man who couldn't. My twenties were spent getting and losing dead-end jobs, taking advantage of my parents' generosity and ill-advised faith, and fooling myself into thinking the next day was going to be different.

By the time I was thirty, everyone had had it with me: my parents, my friends, my girlfriends…everybody who had ever known me drunk, no longer wanted to know me at all. As I saw everyone I knew grow up and start their own lives, I got fiercely bitter and jealous. Deep down, I wanted the benefits of sobriety, but was nowhere near ready to put the effort into going after it. AA was definitely not for me, and there was no way I was going to therapy for this, so I tired multiple times to stop drinking on my own, each time hitting a wall and relapsing.

I would last about three days before someone would say something I didn't like or the wind blew a certain way, then I would be right back on the bottle and ready to fight anyone who tried to get in my way, including my own father. After a while, I became like a piece of furniture in our nice house here in NJ. Everyone learned to ignore me, and with good reason, until they couldn't ignore me anymore. I was drunk and got behind the wheel of my mother's luxury car and luckily never made it off the property. I did manage to take out the garage door and completely destroying my parents car in the process.

After that, my parents told me either I get help for alcohol addiction at a rehab they found for me in southern Florida or get out of their house and live on my own. With no way of supporting myself I went to the rehab and decided to make the most of it because the thought of living on the street seriously scared me. I found that the longer I was in my program, the longer I started to see I could live a life without alcohol. The therapy that I thought so little of in the past had become an opportunity for me to grow and become a better version of myself. There were a few near slip-ups, particularly when I first got back home, But my parents were very supportive and very proud of me for successfully completing the program and I was also able to call my therapist for help and advice too whenever I needed it.

I'm not going to sugar-coat this for you; sometimes it's hard as hell trying to stay clean and live straight. But somewhere along the line, you have to decide whether or not your life is worth saving, and act accordingly. If you don't value yourself, nobody can help you. If you think you're worth saving, you will be able to save yourself. I know it sounds simplistic, but it's honestly the main thing that has kept me going through my 547 days of continued sobriety.

Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.

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