When you spend your entire life in your office, you start to think that people who you work with really don’t care about you and maybe they would be happy if you self-destructed so they could get your job. It seemed the only interaction I would get from my coworkers was whenever someone needed something from me in a professional capacity. I’m not complaining, this is the career-path I chose, but before my experience with drug and alcohol intervention, I was convinced that I had lost all communication with people who had once cared about me. I didn’t even know that specialized executive drug and alcohol intervention was a real thing until my co-workers, friends, and family organized one for me. What I got out of the process was a second chance from those I thought I had written me off as well as a new purpose for living every day.
I learned during my treatment that I was a textbook workaholic. I never slowed down long enough to start a family, and was always a little irritated when my parents or siblings called, because it meant they were taking me away from the most important thing in my life . . . my job. I still find it hard to believe that anyone cared enough to set up an executive alcohol and drug intervention for me! For years my life consisted of waking up, spending thirteen hours a day at the office, coming home, eating dinner and going to sleep. I had grown up poor and was terrified that if I slowed down at all I would lose my edge (and then all the hard-earned money that I was making).
One day when I was driving home from work completely exhausted, I fell asleep at the wheel, had a bad car accident, and hurt my knee. I checked myself out of the hospital prematurely, and refused the recommended physical therapy because it would take too much time away from the office. I made my own executive decision that I would just keep medicating myself with the Vicodin they had given me for the pain. I was never worried about running out of my painkillers because I knew how to work the system and find an unethical doctor who would be happy to write me prescriptions for Vicodin.
I spent the next two years abusing Vicodin, and still managing to go about my daily life. Vicodin kept me working and earning, and I would stop using only when my knee pain was totally gone. Eventually my knee pain went away, but my need to keep taking Vicodin of course did not . The feeling I experienced was too good to even stop and worry that I had developed a serious painkiller addiction.
It was only a matter of time before my addiction started to affect my professional life. I would lash out at co-workers, spend hours throwing up from withdrawal and sitting in my office with the door locked and the lights off because of a blinding headache, and I was more on edge than ever. I was in a meeting with one of our biggest clients and everything was going fine, except for the fact that I was going through Vicodin withdrawal. We came to a disagreement about something relatively inconsequential, and I lost it. I started to question their faith in our business practices and just acted disproportionately aggressive toward them to the point where we almost lost the account. My colleague, who had known what was going on with me for quite some time, came in to end the meeting early and explain that I was having some “family” problems and not to take it personally. He basically forced me to take the rest of the day off, and said he’d take care of everything. My executive drug and alcohol intervention took place one week after that.
I came in to my office one day to find a room full of my family, who I had not seen in about 18 months, my friends, and my colleagues-23 people altogether. A woman I’d never met before stood up and revealed herself as the interventionist and urged me to hear all of them out. Having no choice, I sat down and cruelly eyed my brother as the process unfolded.
As everyone took turns reading how my addiction had affected them, I was reduced to tears. A lot of deep-rooted issues came to light, including my shame over my family’s poor past, my refusal to except help or get close to anyone, and my pig-headed resistance to admitting my flaws. It was a real eye-opener, one for which I’m still grateful. At the end of my intervention, I reluctantly accepted help and called my secretary in to tell her I was going to be away for a while.
I was recommended an executive rehab in Florida with an stellar reputation. After I finished the mandatory initial detoxification period, the rest of my residential executive drug and alcohol treatment was easy and turned out to be very beneficial for both my personal and professional growth. I am very proud to say that I have been Vicodin-free ever since I graduated from their excellent program. I am truly grateful that people cared enough about me to hold an executive drug and alcohol intervention. Today I am closer to my family, friends and coworkers than I ever have been at any point in my life. I am also happy to report that I plan to take a whole week off of work during the holidays just to spend time with my family.