Looking back on it all now I guess it was really a combination of my work related stress and then my inability to affectively cope with it that led to me becoming an alcoholic. Like most drinkers, I was in denial about my drinking problem for a couple years, reassuring myself that I had it under control.
Most of my co-workers in our firm were also working up to 60+ hours a week, and they all had their own secret ways of ‘coping’. “Bob,” lets say his name was, found relief through yoga and Valium in his spare time, while employee of the month “Janet” would compensate with weekend drinking benders, the occasional DUI, and A LOT of cocaine. I would tell myself I wasn’t nearly as bad as these people.
Then one day when I was sober I noticed the mounds of empty bottles around my home office; enough empty bottles to put even a college frat boy to shame. It all seemed to hit me at once that I was an alcoholic and I felt ashamed at my inability to control it. It was then that I did some research online and found Seaside Executive in Palm Beach. They appeared to be a very professional & high quality organization. I really like the idea of being allowed to customize my own schedule the most. I’ve always been the kind of person who when sets out to do something, does it all the way. I didn’t want to half-ass this recovery attempt but knew I also couldn’t take the time off work. Naturally I was very excited when I read that I would be allowed time to work remotely and receive treatment while enrolled in their executive program.
I contacted them and was on a plane down to their treatment center the next weekend. My alcohol detoxification was tough as I knew it was going to be from reading about alcohol detox in general on the web. But after reading about how dangerous alcohol detox could be if not administer properly, I was very glad that I did not attempt to do it on my own. Once clean, I was able to actually absorb what was being taught to us to live a sober life after I graduated from their executive alcohol treatment program.
My therapist Michelle was awesome in helping me uncover some inner traits, such as my ADHD tendencies and how I used alcohol to settle my racing thoughts and focus on work, not to mention my mediocre tolerance for stress. I also learned through meditative and cognitive relaxation exercises how to healthily manage the daily on the job stress without taking it home after work. It was actually awesome that I could put these theories and skills learned in the treatment to use whenever some mishap came up during my working hours – and tweak my practice of these with my counselor later that day. While I loved the massage therapy, acupuncture, group therapy and reflection time, it was my personal therapist’s guidance and the hands of practice of stress management that did the most to drain my desire of drinking to cope.
I am now six months sober and my job is still stressful but I am dealing with everything now with a new confidence, new skills, and knowledge that I can live a manageable and sober life.