When I came to the realization that I could no longer drink, I thought I was greatly disheartened. Anger and resentment against God pumped through my veins. It had only been a couple years since I came out as bi-sexual (which some people just put off as gay) and I was coping with my new lifestyle by working alcoholically and drinking the same. Now, I had to accept the fact that I have to endure the rest of my life on this Earth without drinking. Distressed, bereaved and spiritually enraged, I felt that God was punishing me for a life I never asked for. What I did ask him for was happiness, a mentor, romantic love and success in my career field. Alcohol inhibited any and all of those blessings from arriving.
Go to Rehab or Nah?
The pain pulsing through the right side of my torso should have been enough incentive. But no, it wasn’t until the tear drops spilling on the linoleum floor of my kitchen in North Hollywood pooled enough to wet the back of my head that I realized I needed help. I had reached rock bottom. It was not my first and it would not be my last, but a bottom it was indeed. Emotionally, I was emaciated; crippled by loneliness with life threatening symptoms of untreated alcoholism. The thought of entering treatment scared my ego but motivated me enough to seek the help I desperately needed. For those financially able to even consider in-patient rehabilitation, we should consider ourselves lucky. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 2015 “About 6.7 percent of adults who had AUD (Alcohol Use Disorder) in the past year received treatment. This includes 7.4 percent of males and 5.4 percent of females with AUD in this age group.” (www.niaaa.nih.gov, 2017) With over 15 million suffering from the “chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences” we can acknowledge that a majority of us are still suffering; still dying. I was there, so this article goes out to the ones who are still suffering.
Sobriety Is Not Amnesty
When the Victim of Drunk Driving Is a Recovering Alcoholic One moment you’re proud of yourself for attending yet another Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The next, you are being thrown around like a rag doll inside the vehicle sobriety gifted you. Being sober does not absolve us from being victims of drunk driving. I am proof of that.
Run for Your Sober Life
Receiving treatment in Southern California comes with many perks. One of the most apparent perks is the beautiful weather that finds a surreal balance along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. In an effort to change my life for the better, I entered treatment without any grand expectations, just happy to get closer to the shorelines of California than I already was. Surrendering my daily schedule to the care and direction of a treatment facility left me with little free time and created a great appreciation for down time I used to fill with consuming alcohol. Running outdoors, taking advantage of the SoCal weather became a vital part of my life in early recovery.