The Me I Never Knew Existed

When you’re in recovery, making amends with others is only half the battle; you also have to make amends with yourself. Living well and treating yourself with dignity and respect are cornerstones of successfully maintaining sobriety. If you don’t respect yourself for who you are and what you’ve accomplished in recovery, you won’t have a solid base for success. You can have all the support you want from your family and friends; but if you don’t believe in yourself, you’re destined for failure. I had to find this out the hard way as I struggled for about eight years with alcohol addiction.

When I first went into rehab, I thought just going through the motions would be enough. I thought that paying lip-service to my therapist and my loved ones would be enough to get me through it. The fact was that I was getting help for all the wrong reasons. Inevitably I would enjoy a limited period of sobriety and lucidity then gradually lapse into a pattern of self-destructive behavior and poor decision-making. This would be my life for about five years. I had plenty of money to spend on rehab; but I was short on the confidence and self-respect needed to sustain it.

The whole time I was in rehab, I felt like I was doing it for other people. There was a gaping sort of incompleteness that just wasn’t being satisfied by counseling and therapy. I don’t know if it was the repetition of relapse and the constant reminder of my weakness, but eventually I just gave up and didn’t care. I was short-changing myself on every level and respected nothing, least of all myself. Alcohol was winning and, in a perversely complacent sort of way, that was OK with me. After completing holistic addiction treatment, my whole outlook had dramatically changed.

When I first got to Seaside, I thought it would be another in a long string of short-falls. I had zero faith in this program’s ability to sustain my recovery. As time went on, they started zeroing on areas that other facilities had missed, like why I chose to start drinking in the first place and the circumstances that made me want to keep drinking. They also offered meditation, which I still practice to this day. I never thought I could benefit from meditation and regarded it more as an abstract exercise for crack-pots. Once I actually learned how to do it right, it became part of my daily routine.

Holistic addiction treatment opened my eyes to the real me. It was an awakening that has allowed me to stay off of alcohol and rebuild my life. I know myself better than I ever have and when you know what you’re capable of, you don’t want to let yourself down. The wholeness and personal strength I achieved at Seaside is a better buzz than anything I could ever hope for in a glass, can or bottle.