In college they tell you to work hard, apply yourself and do everything you can to get ahead; they don’t tell you that the workload of your job might end up stressing you out to the point of substance abuse. Fortunately, I found a highly recommended treatment facility that featured an executive alcohol rehab program.
I spent two decades in real estate, and came to define myself by my profession. I enjoyed the money, and didn’t mind working a little harder to get it. Drinking was just always something that I did casually at parties, and not something to which I dedicated a lot of time…until I hit a bump in my career.
Perhaps some of you have heard about this little housing bubble that burst about six years ago. Well I was right in the middle of it. Despite all of this, it wasn’t the threat of what was happening that drove me to drink, it was the threat of what could happen. In my executive treatment program, I learned how important it is to live in the now and to recognize the things I couldn’t control.
After a year of sleepless depression and anxiety over the state of the housing market, I was barely recognizable. I was living my life like that kid in the dentist’s chair closed his eyes and said, “Ow!” even though nothing had been done to him yet. I was still doing very well, but was so afraid of losing everything. Eventually the only thing that could calm me down was alcohol, so that’s what I turned to. My drinking escalated, and right before I entered an alcohol rehab program for executives, I’d been drinking heavily every day for three years.
Turning to alcohol only made things worse at my job. I was missing appointments, staying home for days at a time, and had a great deal of difficulty even trying to pretend that I cared. I was vomiting every day, and my savings was rapidly depleting—oh yeah, this was a great idea. Simply put, I couldn’t stop. Alcohol had a hold on me from which I wasn’t prepared to work enough to break free. When my girlfriend, who I’d been with for ten years before I started drinking, threatened to walk out on me, I took a look in the mirror, realized I had very little left and agreed to get treatment.
I was able to find a special program that offered alcohol rehab for executives, and decided to give it a shot. While I was there, I was able to continue my professional life so I wouldn’t have the emotional stress of playing catch-up at work. When I was in treatment I learned a lot about myself. It’s been a year since I’ve had a drink, and I’m still taking it day by day. I decided to take some time off and live off my savings. Most importantly, I’ve learned to view my life as blessing not an endless succession of days at the office.