Throwing Down The Gauntlet

Throwing down the proverbial gauntlet in an attempt to stop drinking.

Throughout my entire life, I’ve met and destroyed almost every challenge that was put in front of me. I wanted to get into a good school and I did; I wanted to get my MBA and I did; I wanted to get on the fast track to professional success and I did. Yet for some reason, of which I’ll never be quite certain, overcoming alcohol addiction was the one challenge that I could not overcome on my own. It’s hard to motivate someone like me with material rewards; I have basically everything that I could possibly want. I had no family, so there was never a threat of divorce of estrangement to wake me up. My own ego and pride, plus a perceived challenge from my boss compelled me to try to take my life back.

By the time I’d hit rock-bottom, I had nothing left to prove to anyone, which made things even more dangerous. Everyone at my firm knew about my drinking, but they didn’t care, because despite all of my baggage, I was still their biggest producer. I brought in more business, had more hours in each month and was just better at what I did than everyone else. As long as I had my professional superiority, I was able to get by. It only became a problem for them when my drinking got to the point that it affected their bottom line. But once I started to feel vulnerable at work, everything started to really fall apart.

It all unraveled in a matter of months. Eventually my boss told me that I had to go and get help and I remembering feeling like a failure and almost quit out of shame. I collected myself and thought about it before I responded. In my mind I took it as my boss basically threw down the gauntlet and challenged me to stop drinking. I told him that I was going to go and get help and beat this thing. I researched an executive alcohol treatment program in Florida that I found online. When I told my boss I was leaving that weekend to go to rehab he was very encouraged. I explained to my boss that I choose this rehab because they allowed me to stay in touch with my business while in rehab. My boss said I could take some work with me if I thought it would help me. I thanked him for the opportunity and told him by bringing some work with me; it would help me still feel useful and productive.

It turned out to be the perfect program for me and having the ability to do some work while I was away from the office really helped with my overall recovery. I can’t thank the excellent staff of doctors that helped me to finally overcome my most difficult obstacle and stop drinking. After I successfully completed treatment I resumed working again full-time when I returned home. I continue to be deeply committed to my alcohol recovery every single day. My biggest professional highlight since I left rehab was when my boss told me how proud he was to see me return to work clean and sober again.


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