First Steps toward a New Life . . . Figuratively and Literally!

If you're going to better, you can't be afraid. Fear will weaken you right out of the gate and you will need all of your strength to defeat such a strong adversary as alcohol addiction. I spent six years running from a better life because I was afraid of what I had to do to get there. Drinking was easy; drinking was safe; drinking was familiar. If nobody liked me when I was drunk, what did I care. There was no reasoning with me. If I was going to stop it would have to be through divine intervention or much more likely profound tragedy. I had to go right to the brink of madness before I finally agreed to get help.

I was 38 years old when I "discovered" that I needed help. I'd lived life in the fast lane, until I eventually crashed…and crashed hard. This is not a metaphor; I was in a car crash that left me temporarily paralyzed from the neck, down. I couldn't do anything for myself; this meant I couldn't get alcohol.

For a long time, my car accident seemed like a huge tragedy; but as I started to heal (both from addiction and my accident injuries) I realized that something beyond my understanding was stopping me from totaling destroying myself. I start to connect the dots and ponder how nobody else was hurt in the accident; how I did not gain full mobility in the future until I had completed treatment and developed the strength to survive in recovery.

I was very scared to enter any alcohol detox centers because I feared the withdrawal symptoms. But everything turned out to be not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. I attribute this to the professional medical staff and on-site doctors that monitored me 24/7 throughout the withdrawal process. After I completed my alcohol detox I started the treatment phase of the recovery process at the same south Florida alcohol rehab where I detoxed. It was about four months later after I returned home from successfully completing my alcohol treatment that I took my first step and eventually learned to walk again.

I was inspired to write this now because June 8 is my first anniversary taking that first figurative step of entering an alcohol detox & rehab, that led to my taking the first literal step again and the ability to walk. To me they represent more than just healing muscle; they represent God's willingness to let me stand on my own two feet and walk toward a new life. I go to my meetings religiously twice a week and I remain incredibly committed to the process; but at the end of the day, my faith has become my ultimate weapon against ever relapsing.

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.