This evening I was thinking back to the few weeks immediately prior to when my wife and I got sober. Things were not going well for us at that point. We had been evicted from two homes within the past year, and had two homes foreclosed — one of them the house where my mother lived. My wife had not worked full-time in several years, and not at all for a couple of months. I was employed in a good job, making good money (that we were totally unable to manage), but in danger of losing it due to a criminal investigation. The criminal issue was bogus, but — again — I was in no position to attend to business.
We were living in a motel with our cats when my boss called me in to his office and told me that I could choose: treatment and keep my job, or be fired. By that time I knew that my life was totally unmanageable, and it seemed as though he was throwing me a life preserver, rather than an ultimatum. Nonetheless, I bargained as addicts are wont to do. Maybe I could just go to some day program for a couple of weeks? Maybe I could keep working and go in the evenings?
Those were non-starters. I was to have an interview the next day, and enter inpatient treatment as soon as they could get me through the doors. I agreed. Three days after I entered treatment my wife and the cats were evicted from the motel amongst much publicity, all but four of the cats went to the shelter (getting the picture here?) and my wife entered treatment two weeks later at the same treatment center.
That’s the value of “hitting rock bottom” that they talk about. When there is no way to go but up, we become willing. Willing to grasp at anything that will help us stay afloat. Willing to turn ourselves over to someone else — for a couple of weeks, 28 days, however long. If we keep that willingness, we have an excellent chance of getting better. If we start trying to regain the power that we never really had, it’s only a matter of time until we go back to doing all the other things we used to do.
The reason I was thinking about this: we spent a half hour at the bank today, opening a business account for my wife’s new psychotherapy practice. We’ve both stayed clean and sober. She’s a respected addiction therapist, and I’m respected in my field, in addition to writing little ditties like this for Sunrise Detox and other sites. We’re happy, prospering, and life is really, really good.
It didn’t have to be that way, but when you start doing the things you should be doing, you start getting what you deserve — just like before, but good things this time. It’s been years since I wanted a drink or a drug, and I can’t take the credit. All I did was what was suggested to me.
Us addicts want what we want, right now. When we learn that we have to wait, that’s when we’re on the road to our new lives — “trudging the road of happy destiny,” as they say.
Join us, won’t you?