I’ve been the Communications Director of an Engineering firm for a little over eight years. I’d worked as hard as anyone, if not harder, to give my family and myself a comfortable life, and without executive alcohol rehab, I would’ve lost it all. I’m 54 years old and never considered alcohol consumption a big deal until about five years ago. There was no history in my family, and I was great at ignoring the signs that I had a problem in college. I’d been working in my current field since I was 23, and alcohol was ALWAYS there. It was when my boss and my wife noticed that I couldn’t function without it that I knew I needed to seek executive alcohol rehab.
I started drinking when I was a junior in high school, but didn’t really make it part of my social life until college. During my undergraduate years, I would commonly polish off a 12-pack with some of my friends, but never when I had an early class the next day. The weekends and breaks were a different story. Every celebration of even temporary freedom from my studies-weekends, end-of-final days, holidays, summer breaks, etc.-were all perfect opportunities to drink-opportunities that I took way more often than not. Still I was always able to answer the school-bell and rally every semester for a near perfect GPA. I didn’t know what executive alcohol rehab was, much less that I would come to need it eventually.
My grad-school years passed in much the same way. Whenever I found myself start to slip academically, I would stay up a little longer and study a little harder-I never slowed down my drinking. When I earned my master’s degree and landed my first job, I simply substituted my old friends with my new co-workers and my fraternity house with restaurants and upscale bars-the drinking continued. I worked 19 years for the same company, during which time I climbed the ladder, met my wife and started my family, all the while celebrating life’s triumphs, and lamenting its disappointments, with liquor. The indication that I needed executive alcohol rehab came soon after I started my current job.
I was referred to the position by an old co-worker. It was a huge salary increase, and an opportunity of which I commonly dreamt. I had taken him out to dinner to thank him for getting me the job. Looking back on it, this is the night I should’ve recognized that I needed executive alcohol rehab, or some sort of treatment. By the time we had gotten the check, I had five rum and cokes to my friend’s two, and was now staunchly possessed of the idea that I could drive home by myself. When my friend tried to stop me and put me in a cab, I laughed him off and said I’d be fine. Never knowing me to lie about these kinds of things, and knowing that I only lived about ten minutes away, he let me go. I had only just turned the corner when I lost control of my car and crashed into a telephone poll. I wasn’t hurt and the damage to my car was minimal, but I know now that I had no business being there in the first place. I managed to get home in one piece, and never discussed the incident with my wife-who was sleeping when I got home-until right before I checked into executive alcohol rehab.
The next three years were filled with those kinds of incidents, and for the first time ever, alcohol was affecting my work performance. I was missing days, sleeping later and later and had to have people repeat important things to me more frequently to make sure I understood-this didn’t stop my drinking. My boss was also starting to notice my regression, and I was convinced he was going to fire me or suspend me pending completion of an executive alcohol rehab program. I tried to play it as cool as I could, but I knew I was slipping. Things weren’t much better at home either. I was irritable toward my wife and daughter whenever I didn’t have my requisite three glasses of wine with dinner, and was becoming more and more withdrawn from my family in every way. Eventually my wife gave me ultimatum that I stopped drinking or we get a separation. I wasn’t about to take time from my job, where I was on thin ice as it was, to complete an executive alcohol rehab program. So I decided to try and dry out myself.
Things were going well for the two weeks or so, then it fell apart. One day during a meeting, just after my boss was done telling me what a great job I was doing, I started itching uncontrollably and hallucinating. I started getting more and more paranoid, and nearly got violent with a few of my co-workers when they tried to get me back into my seat. Eventually I was removed from the meeting, and sent to the hospital in a company car. When my wife arrived, I was mortified and told her that I really couldn’t do this by myself. We sat down as a family that night, and made plans for me to enroll in executive alcohol rehab. The look of disappoint on my daughter’s face was heartbreaking-I hated her seeing me like this, and vowed that she would never again have to.
After thirty days in a residential executive alcohol rehab facility, I was able to get perspective and clarity regarding the reality of my alcohol problem. I’d been fooling myself and everybody else for all those years, and realized that the pressure of my career was a huge factor in my alcoholism, and needed to be properly managed. I’m grateful for the specialized nature of executive alcohol rehab because it quickly enabled me to identify the root causes and obstacles that contributed to my alcoholism. During my stay, I was able to reflect on what my drinking had cost me, and develop resistance methods for when I got out. Thankfully my job and my family were still waiting for me. It’s not been easy. I want a drink almost every day, but it’s getting easier as time goes on.