An Ultimatum I Am Grateful I Received

Businessmen with their hands over their eyes ears mouth

When your career is crumbling, your family leaves you and your business partner is threatening to walk out next, eventually you have to take the hint that it’s not everybody else, it’s you. I never thought much of the whole rehab process; I considered it to be a self-indulgent pity exercise for people who couldn’t get their life together. Then after September 11, I became increasingly disillusioned and angry, and turned to alcohol to keep me going. I didn’t personally know anyone who died in the towers-thank God-but I could see where the world was headed and knew that it would never be the same after the attacks.

My business, the company I had helped build from nothing, didn’t interest me anymore; but rather than retire and get the help I needed for my depression, I stubbornly held on and fooled myself into thinking that nothing was wrong. Meanwhile, hundreds of people who were depending on me were beginning to question their future and whether or not I was even able to get out of bed in the morning, much less lead them. Rather than admit that there was validity to their concerns, I just started taking my troubles out on them. I began to distrust everyone and have mini panic attacks that made me wanted to drink more to feel better.

Eventually I was so badly racked with alcoholic depression that I physically hurt, and nobody could say or do anything to make me feel better. There was no more “liking” anyone; the best thing anyone could do to get or stay in my good graces was to leave me alone and let me deteriorate. I didn’t even start to trust anyone again until I got to executive alcohol rehab. Everything seemed meaningless and I was determined to just get life over with as soon as possible. I reluctantly agreed to enter rehab when my partner threatened me with an ultimatum and a lawsuit if I didn’t get help.

I checked into the facility my partner recommended who offered specialized executive alcohol rehab. He told me he choose it because I could stay in touch with work and him throughout the recovery process. It’s amazing how much just talking to somebody about the war I was facing inside my head actually helped. I was treated by amazing doctors and nurses that would do everything in their power to cure their patients of their addiction.

I still have a hard time getting out of my own head sometimes; but I don’t use alcohol to medicate my depression anymore. I have mended all fences at work. The most effective enemy of depression is the energy and thoughtfulness it takes to see the good in the world. Even though I had a temporary roadblock, I’ve always been and continue to be, blessed.


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