Personal Accounts of Overcoming Addiction

Journeys from Luxury Alcohol Rehab

My War, My Luxury Alcohol Rehab

I never thought that I would find myself in a luxury alcohol rehab. I’ve been to war. I’ve seen combat. I’ve had friends die at my feet. In my arms. If I could survive all of that, why couldn’t I just put the bottle down? Such a simple question, it seems that there should be an easy answer. But there isn’t. Every time I would think about it, I would feel defeated. Some days I still feel pretty defeated. I can hear a chorus of the critics in my head when I mentally weigh it all out; they’re taunting me with that, “no one who wins from war.”

Luxury. Alcohol. Rehab. Crazy! Just, crazy! I have lived in the desert. Never did I think I would belong in a luxury alcohol rehab! My mind does flip-flops over it, still to this day, trying to process it all. I think it would be best if I could just let go of that label. I can’t ever let go of that ‘addict’ label. And I simply don’t want to get rid of the ‘soldier’ label. I worked three tours in Iraq; I earned that label! I’ll wear it proud, every single day of my life. Hopefully, I will be able to wear it soberly for the rest of my days. If I don’t keep conscious of my ‘addict’ label, I know that I will quickly fall off the wagon and lose my hard-earned sobriety, all 187 days of it.

For all my anticipated emotional disconnect from luxury alcohol rehab, I did quite well. While I was not treated with any other soldiers, I was able to relate to those civilians in a special way. We bonded over our addiction struggles, regardless of the history of why or when our respective negative behaviors began.

And when I was retreating inward, during the first few days of treatment, not connecting to anyone in my group therapy sessions, it did not surprise me. I was used to this disconnect. When you’re a soldier, a lot of times it is only possible to connect deeply with other soldiers. Civilians will never quite understand where you’re coming from, but that’s alright. I will keep working for them anyway if I can. I don’t know that I will ever see combat again. Maybe that’s a good thing. Even though I did feel at home on the front lines, I know that I need to work on me right now. For now, I can let the other soldiers work on the war and I will work on my own war, stateside (and inside).

Some days are more difficult than others but we are trained not to quit. Not every day in luxury alcohol rehab was pleasant (it sure as hell was comfortable, though)! The life of a recovering addict is not always going to be pleasant. That is part of the consequences of my behavior. But I know that I can work to make it ever more increasingly pleasant as my days march on.

My transition to civilian life was more challenging than I had ever anticipated. Having spent only eight months in the States, total, during my last three deployments, I was surprised how much less it felt like I was coming “home.” I came “home” to sleepless nights. I came “home” to a fear of crowded places. I came “home” to mental and emotional isolation. I was fighting my own urban warfare, millions of miles away from Iraq. I drank myself into oblivion nearly every night and day for three years after my return to the States. My life had spiraled out of control. I eventually sought help from the VA but they would not have been able to place me into a program for nearly a month, due to overcrowding. I could not wait that long. I could not get into a facility fast enough. That’s when I was fortunate enough to have my family arrange for me to be admitted to my luxury alcohol rehab.

My family did not stand in the line of fire for me. My family did not take any bullets for me. My family did not endure capture and torture from the enemy. But my family saved my life when they sent me to my luxury alcohol rehab.

Executive Alcohol Rehab & My First Sober Summer

This is my first summer being sober since my stay at executive alcohol rehab last fall. I know this will be a difficult one. I can’t remember the last sober summer I had; it must have been during my younger, early-teenage years. Gosh, it is hard to believe it but yes, I really have been drinking for decades. Well, thanks to my executive alcohol rehab I guess it is more accurate to say that I was drinking for decades—past tense!

But I must admit that I have been thinking all about the nice craft beers and new summer ales that I used to love sampling this time of year. I know it isn’t worth the risk. I know that I can’t have “just one” – as much as I might try to convince myself of that possibility. My first BBQ will be difficult. Will the burger taste the same without the ice-cold beer beside it?

An addict never stops thinking like an addict. That is one thing that the steps teach. I suppose I will always think about having a drink but the veterans tell me that it gets easier with time. The thoughts will still occur, just less often and with less intensity. I do look forward to those days. But until then, it is a one-day-at-a-time mentality that I must focus on.

Getting sober was the most difficult surrender I have ever made. However, I think it is the business of staying sober that is more difficult. They warned me of this. They told me the alcohol detox would feel like the hardest part of it all but the real challenge would be to make sure that I didn’t land back in detox again, however many months or years later. Man, were they right.

It makes me wonder if I will ever stop “tasting” that summer beer when I see the commercials on TV. I ponder the idea of finding a non-alcoholic light beer and just sticking a slice of lime in it but I know that could be a trigger. Better stay away from that! There’s no way that that stuff tastes half as good as the real thing, anyway. I should ask the veterans in recovery if they have forgotten the taste of their favorite beer. I think they might get a kick out of that. It will probably make some of them laugh. But that is a legitimate question, isn’t it? Maybe it is better to remember what the beer does taste like – then there is less temptation to remind oneself by cracking one open, no?

I just have to keep reminding myself that it is not worth losing my family over. I am lucky enough that they gave me this second chance. Moreover, I’m lucky God gave me this second chance and that I didn’t drown deep enough in my addiction where they couldn’t reach me to throw me the life vest of executive alcohol rehab.

Mistaken Beliefs About Relapse: Explained by a Luxury Alcohol Rehab

Unfortunately, I’ve been a patient at a plethora of luxury rehabs; my latest – and most successful – treatment was at a luxury alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, Florida. By now, I’m an expert at relapse. I’ve done it enough times to finally recognize the signs, symptoms, and triggers for relapse. You might think that I was an expert simply by doing. No, as an addict, you don’t always identify the reason you’re doing what you’re doing. All that matters is the chase, the way your heart rate spikes when you’re walking into that neighborhood wine and spirits, the feeling of the bottle hitting your lips for that first time in 30 odd days.

Forget the fact that you just spent the last 30 days clean. Forget the fact that you’re wasting tens of thousands of dollars on not only alcohol but on treatment for your alcoholism. Forget the fact that you swore up and down to never go to another luxury rehab because you promised everyone that you’d never drink again.

Being the personification of relapse (and heretofore the poster child for unsuccessful alcohol rehab programs) was not enough to give me insight into my actions. None of my previous rehabs have ever been able to tell me why I continually relapse after each failed attempt at alcohol rehab. Their answers were simply “You’re not the only addict who relapses” or “This happens all the time; you’re not alone” or “You’re an addict; you’ll always be an addict” or “Just look at Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan.”

Then I tried Seaside Luxury Alcohol Rehab in Palm Beach and I have not touched a drop of alcohol since the day I left them. The set of tools, techniques, and strategies they provided me has made all the difference in my ability to resist any alcohol temptations. I soon realized after my treatment started there why none of my previous rehab programs could tell me why I relapsed: they were altogether incapable of discussing the problem of relapse. I remembered how different their therapists were from the other therapists I had encountered at other luxury rehabs. I actually remember a therapist at one of my former luxury alcohol rehabs telling me if I just thought about relapse I would bring it about. I remember after I left their luxury rehab in Malibu that I was always in a constant state of fear that I may accidentally think about relapse at any time and then cause myself to start drinking as a result!

So many rehab programs are afraid to address the issue of relapse for fear of misinterpretation or for fear of their patient success rates. Relapse is a difficult subject in rehab, for obvious reasons and for other reasons. A therapist must be careful to not portray a picture of relapse as an acceptable picture of behavior. Yes, it does happen – more often than not – but that does not mean it will happen to everyone. It is not an occurrence to be taken lightly. Moreover, it is important not to set the patient up for a mental picture of failure. Chances are, they are already emotionally scarred and see themselves as “failed.”

However, when the discussion of relapse never begins, it is likely that the relapse itself will begin. Without the ability to recognize one’s personal triggers for use, it is nearly impossible to prevent it! Not allowing yourself to consider the possibility of relapse is going to prevent any planning for it. If you have relapsed, there has to be a plan to get back into treatment, perhaps return to your rehab. Or in my case, find an altogether more excellent luxury alcohol rehab. Luckily, there are thousands of professional counselors, doctors, and nurses who do not subscribe to this mistaken belief— “if you think about relapse, you will relapse” – and they have devoted their lives to addressing the problem and prevention of relapse. Without the help of my skilled and knowledgeable therapists at Seaside Luxury Alcohol Rehab, I’d never be able to claim 30 days of sobriety let alone 2 years of sobriety; I am forever grateful to everyone there.

Transcending to [And Beyond] Luxury Alcohol Rehab

It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I first admitted myself into rehab for my chronic drinking problem. I chose a luxury alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, Florida based on a recommendation from an alumni of their program.

Since that time in retaining my sobriety, I have transcended beyond the physical havoc that 10 years of hard drinking wreaked on my body. Like most alcoholics, I was drinking to cope with my unhappiness. Like most young adults, I drank to feel “socially accepted.” The physical destruction my body was enduring was killing me but my luxury alcohol rehab treatment was able to restore life to my meager remains – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Did you know that when you type “transgender” into an iPhone, it is auto-corrected to “transcend?” This is assuming that you’ve never before typed the word into this device in the past – which I believe that the majority of people have not. The dialogue on transgendered individuals is minimal. I would estimate the dialogue on transgendered individuals who are also in recovery is even less common. If society cannot keep up with the dialogue, we cannot expect technology will.
(Important point: I do not mean to discredit the iPhone or Apple technology. It may very well be that all phones auto-correct with “transcend.” It was simply with my iPhone that I discovered this.)

I’ve always been known as a “tomboy.” Dressing in an androgynous fashion has felt most comfortable for as long as I can remember. That is because, for 2 years and 3 months, I’ve publicly identified as a transgender male. Privately, I’ve felt this way since I was just 7 years old. The possibility of physically becoming the male with which I already emotionally identify is not a new consideration for me. This is something I’ve thought about for a long time. In fact, this is what landed me in the luxury alcohol rehab. The more I thought and analyzed how this could affect my friends and family, the more alone I felt. The more alone I felt, the more I drank. The more I thought, the more I did not want to think anymore and alcohol was an easy cure for that pesky “thinking.”

I believe this was a nearly perfect mistake on the part of my iPhone. Identifying oneself as transgendered defies the mores and social constructs that have been assigned to the words “female” and “masculine” and thereby “transcends” beyond the physical, mental, and emotional confines of both sexes.

I had researched hormone replacement therapy and knew that in order to begin the transitioning process, I would need to get healthy. But I couldn’t get healthy on my own. I wasn’t ready to admit to my friends or family the real motivation for getting healthy. And I’m certain that I could not have gotten healthy with any rehab other than Seaside Palm Beach. Like anything, hormone replacement therapy has its risks. Before I sought alcohol treatment, I’d discovered that testosterone can be brutal to physical health. Raised blood pressure, raised red blood cell count, and heightened cholesterol levels can all be a result of the therapy which would in turn damage my liver. Since my liver was already wrecked from the alcohol, I knew I had to quit and pledge my sobriety.

When I was admitted to the luxury alcohol rehab, I was admitted with the housing consideration of being “female.” I had not yet come out to any friends and family. It was difficult enough to come to terms with it on my own. Being that my therapist was going to be the first person I was going to come out to, “challenging” is not a sufficient adjective to describe the beginning of my treatment.

My successful treatment is the reason that I have been able to begin hormone replacement therapy; I finally feel comfortable in my own skin. And with the hormone replacement therapy, I finally have a body that I am determined to take care of. I could not be happier that my sobriety birthdays and my trans-birthdays will coincide. I think they will reinforce one another.

Lastly, I want it to be known that I did not volunteer to go to a luxury alcohol rehab because I felt like I was “too good” for any other type of rehab. I felt that it was the only program where I could get the truly individualized treatment that I needed. Turns out I was right. Seaside helped me to reclaim – not to mention rename – my life.

The Burden

I’m not going to bore you with cautionary tales of how money doesn’t bring you happiness. I know how trite, and frankly false, it sounds for someone to bemoan their privilege and fortune. What I will tell you, however, is that all the money in the world can’t shield you from substance abuse or addiction. In fact, it’s very often the case that the more you have, the more you have to lose. As someone who’s responsible for over 100 employees, I felt this pressure every day of my life and it’s not something that ever really goes away, either.

When I was building my business, it was the most fun I’d ever had in my life. The years spent growing my company were like a roller-coaster ride filled with optimism, terror, euphoria, reward, and struggle. I never even thought of drinking during this time because I needed to stay sharp to grow my operations as much as I could. Things were happening at lightning speed and I needed to stay focused and keep my eye on the ball. Frankly, there wasn’t time to sleep much less celebrate. I was determined not to miss out on a single financial opportunity.

When I finally got as big as I wanted to, I felt like the dog that caught the car. I was operating under the expectation that there would be time to rest once things started leveling off and operating on their own. Here’s a tip for any aspiring business owner: no company ever operates on autopilot, no matter how long they’ve been around. It doesn’t get easier; in fact, it only gets more difficult as more people start depending on you for their livelihood. Instead of enjoying my success, I started to dread it. This is when I started my excessive drinking.

As my alcohol abuse got worse, I started to think: “Who’s going to question me if I want to have a drink during the work day?” In almost no time at all, I had lost complete control of myself and the company that I had worked so hard to create. In an effort to get my life back together, I entered a luxury alcohol treatment program in Florida. While I was there I got help for my alcohol abuse as well as my anxiety and learned to temper my caution with relaxation and positive energy. It was exactly the wake-up call that I needed to regain control.

When I left treatment, I took a brief sabbatical from work, but I was determined to start enjoying life within the company I created. I said before that I wasn’t going to give you a cautionary tale of how money can’t buy happiness, but I will advise you that we are all equally vulnerable to stress and it’s amazing how quickly addiction can derail everything good in one’s life. Hang on as tight as you can.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Rehab

I learned many things during the course of my alcoholism, some of the most valuable of which was that success is only useful if you’re around to enjoy it and that your liver doesn’t care how hard you work or how much money you make. It was not that I was overwhelmed by the pressures of success, nor was it that I used alcohol to mask depression or anxiety; I literally thought that alcohol abuse was one more in a series of situations that I could control or own. Five years and a lot of wasted time and broken relationships later, I can say that ownership has its drawbacks.

I did not think there was anything I could not do. I felt a strong desire to succeed ever since I first learned the meaning of what it meant to be rich or poor. Although my parents did not have much money, I spent my entire childhood preoccupied with creating a better life for myself and them. I knew that if I worked hard enough, made myself smarter than everyone else, and kept my eye out for opportunity, success would find me…and it did. I went to work right after school and climbed the ladder faster than a firefighter up a burning building. By the time I was 24, I was already a junior VP.

I had achieved a lot in my career by the time I was 40, but I still only had the wisdom and life experience of a teenager. At some point along the way, I started abusing alcohol when I became arrogant enough to think that nothing could touch me. It began with all-nighters at the bar, then drinking alone and lying to everyone about how much I drank. When I got my first DUI, I of course told myself that it was time to slow down, but that was little more than empty promises. In a year’s time, I went from the youngest VP to the youngest VP with an alcohol addiction.

My career hit a wall. I became disinterested in work and almost lost everything I had worked so hard to achieve in my life. My parents pleaded with me to get help and enter a rehab program. Eventually I agreed and found the courage to tell my boss what was going on. To my surprise, he was incredibly supportive, allowed me to go for help, and said my job would still be waiting for me after I successfully completed my treatment.

I entered an executive alcohol rehab in Palm Beach, Florida the following week. The best part for me was the ability to continue to work part-time during my treatment program so I could stay in touch with my office. I do not blame anyone but myself for my alcoholism. During the behavioral health aspect of my treatment, I learned that my feelings towards my career accomplishments were in conflict with my previously established perceptions of life from my youth. I was fortunate enough to understand the pitfalls of this addiction at a relatively young age and to get the necessary professional help I needed before my drinking problem got me into potentially serious trouble. I do not know if it was divine intervention or I just got lucky by choosing the right rehab the very first time I went to rehab that has allowed me to stay sober for these past two years.

My Way

Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too many to mention. I don’t know if it’s because I just loved it so much growing up or because the subject matter kind of speaks to me directly, but I’ve always associated that song “My Way” with my alcohol addiction. I listened to the Sinatra version the most because – well let’s face it – who doesn’t love Frank? Growing up I was a great admirer of his: his clothes, his take-no-prisoners attitude, his persona, and I especially loved how cool he looked holding a drink. I had front-row seats to see him in the 80s and remember thinking: “Here’s a guy who has really lived.”

As juvenile as it was, I tried to sort of play that part over the years. I made plenty of money, lived life on my own terms, and took on all comers, no matter how mean they were. Alcoholism became a product of my uncompromising lifestyle. Nobody could tell me that I had a drinking problem: not my wife, not my kids, not my lawyer, my bartender, or my accountant. Every time the subject was brought up, I just got loud with them and told them that they didn’t know what they were talking about. For years, it was the perfect way to avoid the problem: make everyone scared of my reaction so they would never bring up what I knew to be true in my own head.

I drank heavily for about 10 years and it caused a lot of pain to a lot of people, including myself and my family. I was a fraction of the husband and father I could have been and, while I never laid a hand on my family, I was never there for the important things—there are many different forms of abuse and I count neglect and infidelity among them. In the end, my family forgave me, but I’ve had a hell of a time forgiving myself. I tried a few different types of rehab over the years, but nothing ever really seemed to work.

When I was 45, I entered luxury alcohol treatment and it was the best decision I could have made. You don’t really understand how big of a difference it makes until you’re there. I was treated like a person and taken care of my entire time there. Even when I was the most resistant to treatment, the staff was courteous, respectful, and committed to seeing me get better. I honestly didn’t even know a place like this existed. Luxury alcohol treatment gave me the push I needed to start being a better man, and I can’t thank them enough for this or for my three consecutive years of sobriety.

So, while it’s true that I have done most things in my life my way, I had a great deal of help in treatment and from my friends and family. All jokes aside, this isn’t something you can do entirely your way. You have to trust that when you’re neck-deep in alcoholism, the people who care about you know what you need more than you do.


About Our Facility

Contact us

To speak with someone who can answer any questions you might have, please give us a call!

For immediate help call now



© 2024 Seaside Palm Beach. All Rights Reserved.