First, a little background: My name is Peter T. For more than a decade, I have been a successful lawyer—a trial attorney to be exact. I've brought in more cases than anyone else in the firm, have defended and won several complicated, high-profile litigations, and as recently as two months ago, was on the verge of being made partner. Oh yeah, and I have a beautiful, loving wife (Jenny) and a 10-year-old son (Ryder) who worships me. To the outside world, I had it made. But inside, I was slowly dying. Or maybe I should say slowly killing myself due to my long-standing dependence on alcohol and prescription meds. I never really worried about how much I drank. I mean, I drank a lot in college (didn't everybody?), and the habit just carried over when I became a "professional." But without realizing it, drinking went from being a social activity to becoming a necessary way to relax after a stressful day. I drank every night, some nights more than others, depending on the day's events. Alcohol provided a release and allowed my thoughts to be temporarily silenced. After a skiing accident last Christmas, I got a prescription for vicodin and discovered I loved the way it helped calm me down. Especially when combined with the booze. Let's just say, my leg has taken a LOOOOOONG time to recover from that accident.
Where I'm at now: Lately, I've been needing more alcohol and meds—I have built up a tolerance—and I see it's finally taking a toll. On everything. I have been arriving late to court, have missed some appointments with clients, and the talk about being made partner has quieted way down. But worse, I've been taking out my stress on my wife and son. I feel so anxious all the time and I know I become angry and mean. I have a short fuse and snap and yell over little things. I feel horrified and ashamed afterwards and will apologize to my family. But then it happens again where I just lose it—I can't help it—and later feel miserable about my behavior. Which of course only makes me drink more. It's a vicious cycle of self-destruction. This week during an argument with Jenny, I punched the wall and left a big gaping hole. Ryder was so scared he ran upstairs. Jenny just shook her head. She doesn't know what to do about my anger and said that if I don't get help, she and Ryder will have to leave. I've thought about this and I don't blame her. I know she's right. I don't want to keep acting this way. I use alcohol and drugs to help me manage my anxiety but now they are no longer working—they're making me worse. I plead with her to give me a chance to make things better.
What's next: After not sleeping all night – Jenny slept in our son's room - I made the call to Axis Residential this morning. I was nervous and embarrassed but was reassured after I spoke to Greg, one of their admissions specialists. Greg's a recovering executive himself, five years clean and sober from cocaine and alcohol, and he helped me realize I don't have to do this on my own. They checked my Blue Cross insurance coverage and I was thrilled by how much of 30 days of rehab they cover. There is no real excuse not to go. I don't want to lose my family—I know I keep hurting them. Rehab seems like a major undertaking, but I don't know what else to do. So I cleared off my calendar and check in tomorrow. After all, what do I have to lose?
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Disclaimer: This is a fictitious depiction of a patient's experience undergoing treatment for addiction. It is written on behalf of and sponsored by Axis Residential. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Experiences associated with addiction treatment can vary widely and this post may not reflect all such experiences. To learn more about the process of being treated for addiction, please contact Axis Residential.