I am new to the forum and would like to share my story. I hope it helps a few other people overcome the challenges during their recovery.
I battled dual addictions during my lowest point. Alcohol was always my crutch. I turned to it to get happy. I turned to it for confidence. I drank for excitement. I tipped a bottle to deal with sadness, fear, and despair. No matter what the problem or need, alcohol could help. At least that was what I believed.
My second addiction started after a minor accident. I had severe pain in my back, centered near my shoulder blades that radiated down my left arm. It felt excruciating. The painkillers provided relief and therapy began fixing the problem rapidly. Even as my back returned to normal, my desire to keep taking the pills remained. Two things helped me overcome this second addiction. The first was my doctor canceling my prescriptions and calling my pharmacist. I debated chasing the drugs through another doctor or the black market, but I had another friend who could help. My friends name was Jack. As you can probably guess, his last name was Daniels.
Jack counseled me away from the pain meds, because I was too drunk to care. It was at this point that my life nose-dived. My family was turning on me. My employer was talking to me about their concerns. I was convinced I was a fully functioning drunk, but obviously not quite good enough. I believe I suffered from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandi...diose_delusions at the time.
That night he and my wife drove me to a treatment center in Miami. I checked in. The struggles I faced over the next few weeks were tremendous. The lack of alcohol did not drive me crazy. It was facing me that did. The counselor was relentless. He forced me to look deep. He challenged my beliefs. He forced me to put more effort into his worksheets, thinking, and exploring my life. I cannot count how many times he stood right in my face challenging me with his strength, commitment, and love. That counselor at lifescape solutions always thought I would succeed and challenged me daily to push harder and farther.
Sitting at nine on the list was a personal challenge to start going to a gym and becoming extremely fit. The counselor, a very fit person, circled it and commented that was one of his major catalysts in his recovery. He challenged me to try it.
Going home to face real life felt great. I remember walking into the house feeling on top of the world. My wife was proud. My family was supportive. The next few days back at work were great, also. Then I ran into "one of those" projects. Everything we did hit snags and problems. The client was upset. My boss was upset. I was working overtime and feeling the stress building in my body and mind. Friday night as I drove towards home a big Jack Daniels sales sign caught my eye. I slowed down. I glanced up the street wondering if anyone I knew was watching. A flashing sign caught my eye. It was a fitness center. I was scared to death. I had never worked out seriously in my life.
The combination of a counselor who really cared, pushed, and challenged, the fitness center, my new friends, and AA gave me a strong foundation to overcome those days when Jack calls loud and clear. Find a great counselor, discover your alternative behaviors, get a good sponsor, and strive to stay on course. It is not always easy, but it is worth it.