It seems only natural to believe that the more you accomplish, the more you’re capable of. As I advanced in my career, I started to feel like I was entitled to certain things, so when my insomnia started, and my doctor told me I had to cut back on my drinking because of the Valium I started taking, I just ignored him. I liked drinking…a lot. I didn’t feel like I was an alcoholic, but felt like I deserved a drink whenever I wanted one and wasn’t about to alter my lifestyle because of a little bump in the road. My body soon let me know how foolish I was being.
I didn’t realize just how close these two substances were linked, and that one could severely exacerbate the effects of the other. I just thought my doctor was handing me some canned cautionary tale. I wasn’t a drug addict and I wasn’t going to let alcohol and pills get the better of me…until I did. Without even realizing what was happening, I started forgetting the simplest things, which in my job was completely unacceptable, I was also tired all the time and had trouble staying awake for even half the day. This went on for months, I didn’t know which drug was causing the problem so I stopped them both, cold turkey.
When my insomnia and anxiety came back, my life quickly started going downhill. I was up for 20-hour stretches, I was in constant pain and I was throwing up without even eating anything. This was honest-to-goodness withdrawal. After I ran back to alcohol and valium, I knew I needed to enter treatment. Thankfully, I was able to find an executive alcohol rehab program where I could also get help for my valium withdrawal. This would allow me to keep working as I tended to my health.
I started feeling better almost immediately after detox. I had a clear head and renewed perspective that had been robbed from me during the course of my drug and alcohol abuse. It was amazing to think that I had let myself get this far. What would have happened had I not sought treatment when I did? How far would I have allowed my stubborn pride to take me before I hurt myself or someone else beyond healing? Thankfully, these are questions that I never had to answer, and hopefully never will.
I’ve conquered some challenging obstacles in my life. I think this led me to think that I was sort of invincible, as ridiculous as that sounds now. I learned the hard way how important it is to listen to people who know more than you. I shudder to think where I would have been, had I learned this lesson just a minute too late. Whatever you’d like to put on it, addiction, substance abuse, etc., my problem couldn’t be fixed by denial. I needed professional help. Thankfully, I was smart enough to finally get it.