“I’m Joe and I’m an alcoholic.”
Never thought I would say that in front of a group of people, but I do.
My Normal Life
I grew up pretty much a normal kid. I came from a middle class working family with no abuse or anything like that. Everybody in the family was a normal drinker that I knew of. In high school I did the normal teenage parties every now and then on the weekends. College was the same: classes during the week and partying on the weekends, but nothing abusive.
I married my wife when I was 29 and we had our son at 35. We had our daughter when I was 37. Until our kids started first grade I worked second shift. Since I couldn’t drink before work and I was still only drinking on the weekends, my career was on the rise.
I was promoted and moved to first shift. My alcohol consumption increased over the next few years, but I considered it as moderate.
I was then promoted to management and my consumption started to increase even more.
I started to isolate and drink in the garage after work. I can’t really pinpoint what increased my alcohol consumption, maybe it was just the stress of life creeping up on me. My drinking started to affect my relationship with my family.
Recognizing the Problem
It was suggested by a family counselor that I seek an evaluation for my supposedly drinking problem. Turning Point Recovery Center was recommended and I went for an assessment. It was determined that I was an alcoholic and should attend the IOP program. Of course I declined.
I have always pulled myself up by my own boot straps, this was a problem I could solve myself.
About a year went by and my drinking was getting out of control. I started to see a therapist that specialized in addictive behavior and attended a weekly group session. It turned out not to be enough. There was no accountability and I was just punching a ticket to get away with drinking.
Although my drinking didn’t get me in trouble with the law or at work, the relationship with my family was deteriorating, especially with my 10 year old daughter. She became afraid to go anywhere in the truck with me. She also started seeing a therapist for OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) because of my drinking.
The time had come for me to surrender and seek real help.
I made an appointment with Turning Point and entered the IOP program. It was tough at first, there was a lot of fear and anger. After all, I considered alcohol my best friend and he was always there when I needed him. I didn’t want to give him up and he wasn’t going away without a fight.
At first I thought the 10 weeks of IOP were going to be an eternity, but it actually wasn’t that bad. I was surrounded by people in the same situation as me, who understood, and together we helped each other cope with our addiction. For once there was hope, a light at the end of the tunnel.
The tools that were given to us, plus the accountability and one-on-one counseling sessions, were the keys to my success in my opinion.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease. Our loved ones like to think of us as cured or fixed. I think we are in remission. I constantly remind myself that I am indeed an alcoholic and that the enemy is still within, lurking, waiting for me to let my guard down. I pray every day to my higher power to keep the enemy at bay.
Another important part of my recovery has been the After Care Program. It has helped me immensely to maintain my sobriety. I like to think of After Care as a group of “addiction alumni” that come together once a week to support each other in defeating the enemy.
I have been in remission for 14 months now, and my new life is awesome.
My daughter is over her OCD and the family problems are on the mend. The other day I was backing out of the driveway and my daughter stopped me and jumped in the front seat and asked “where are we going Dad?” At that moment I realized who my real best friend is. I can honestly say that Turning Point Recovery Center saved my life. Thank you!
“I’m Joe and I’m an alcoholic, and I choose not to drink!!!”
If you are ready for your own success story, contact us today!
~Turning Point Recovery Center