Making the Decision
Some people know that they need help and pick up the phone to find a suitable rehab clinic for themselves. Others ask someone close to them to help them. Yet others would not make the decision on their own but are persuaded to go by their family – and others are just about forced into going. My path was the third of these – I would not have picked up the phone myself or asked for help but it took only a gentle nudge from my family who had done all the homework.
What happened was this: I was a controlled heavy drinker for many years but alcoholism is a progressive disease and as the months went by it got harder and harder to keep the control and to keep my drinking separate from my work. After 24 years I left my senior position in one company and moved sideways into a similar position. This was partly due to my drinking as the wheels were beginning to fall off in terms of my performance – I knew it and my boss knew it. I vowed to make a fresh start and not to have alcohol impinge on my working life at all.
Of course, I couldn’t keep to that. By lunchtime most days I felt in desperate need of a drink but as it was a new job and there was no drinking culture (and no pals to go and have a drink with as I was ‘too senior’) I had to scuttle off to a pub sufficiently far from the office so no one would see me. As time went by, I would bring drink back into the office to have towards the end of the day behind my closed office door. Eventually I would have a little tipple at any time of day if I thought I could get away with it.
Could Not Get Away With It
The day came as it was bound to when I did not get away with it. I attended two meetings at which junior staff noticed I had had a drink (I would not have had many drinks but I was probably permanently on the verge of being drunk and it did not take much to tip me over the edge). These staff reported it to the chief executive, he had a word with me. I was sent home to sort myself out. Amazingly, I don’t remember feeling particularly ashamed but just decided I would pull myself together. Get sober over the weekend (I had stopped several times before so why not now), front it out and not do it again.
However, being sent home to a nice empty house during the day was not good news for an alcoholic. I drank for the rest of that day (I can’t remember what I told my family) – I would stop the next day. The next day came – I drank. The weekend when I was going to definitely going to stop came – I couldn’t stop. I carried on for around 4 weeks and did not get back to work. During that time my ex took my two youngest children away; My son (second oldest) eventually joined them through his own free will. My 17 year old daughter was the last to go and went to stay with friends.
Make a Decision to Change
Then one evening my ex paid a surprise visit with my two oldest children. They told me that I needed help, they wanted me to have it. Here were three clinics to choose from. I was shocked – and wanted them to leave so I could get back to my drink. So I said I would think about it but would go – give me till the morning. I would choose one of the clinics by then.
I hoped this would buy me some time to get out of it but in the end I knew I was unhappy and decided I would go just to shut them up. So I agreed to give it a go but on my terms – 2 weeks, not 4. I did not even look properly at the three clinics presented. One was inSpain, one was a so called manor and one was closer. I just picked the closest – easier to escape from and get back home. Fortunately it was the best decision I ever made!
The Haynes Clinic is an alcohol and drug rehab clinic which offers detox and counselling for people with addictions. Call 01462 851414 for free and confidential advice.