On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. It is a labour of love and I have an immense respect for their work. This was a total contrast to me arriving there all broken and unable to sign myself in as I shook too much. There was a sense of being humiliated which transferred into a sense of gratitude and humility over such a short stint. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.
It is indeed an honest experience which I now after nearly 2 years in recovery still apply in life. Life now happens as it should and I do not have to run from it by using alcohol or any other substance. It being a medical facility, it also helped me to understand that I have to look after myself. This was not true a couple of months before as I could not walk 2 stairs without being tired, I was bloated and have written off my Mercedes, but still I denied I had a problem.
On the day of checking in, my wife dropped me off and I think in a sense she was very relieved to be rid of my self pity and inconsiderate behaviour where I often drove around with my children in a state of intoxication. Being well qualified and having had a very good job, does not however distinguish me from any other human and for that matter any other addict. I humbly came to know my defects and still do, with the difference that I now know of it and can live with it. To be able to get there I had to open myself up for change and that change for me came in a strange way. It was a spiritual change which resulted in a change in certain traits of my personality.
I got to know people from all walks of life, really started to embrace each session in the program. It soon became evident that the more I become honest with myself, the more freeing the program became. I was amazed that we were kept busy from early morning until 22h30 with lights out. At Crossroads I became a human again and can now live amongst all people with peace in my heart and truly live life!
My drinking developed gradually and it often consisted of weekend stints under the auspice of watching rugby or braaiing or the like social activity. It was however nice and I felt in control, but over time it became evening drinking during the week as well and finally developed into full blown 24 hours a day drinking with some sleep in between. I now only realise that I hurt my body so much that it will probably take another 2 – 3 years to heal properly and some things may never heal. That I have accepted as well and it is indeed a consequence of my actions……I can blame nobody for picking up the next drink!
After a 9 month stint being kicked out of the house I pledged sobriety and even stopped for 18 months, which I later found out is “white Knuckling” – I was a sober drunk!
It never occurred to me that I lived a life of insanity and when it was shown to me by working the program in Crossroads, I only woke up to that fact and wanted to know more about this new found life, which includes sobriety. It was afforded me in slow chewable chunks and finally I found a solution which was so simple and obvious, but which I never saw.
In Crossroads the councilors did not take any of my manipulative ways and soon I understood that with them it is different. See they understand me and know what I have to go through to get to an ongoing road of recovery. It meant being focused and remain honest with myself and my fellow human beings. Recovery training never stops as even in time of social interaction denial becomes obvious to the fellow patients and we also get opportunity to help each other by staying honest. This meant that I had to understand that although my personality wants to joke around the whole time, it also meant that I needed to understand how I can joke around without hurting people.
In leaving I had new found structure, but to keep it I need to work it and thus still attend at least 4 meetings a week to check in with other addicts like me. What is so amazing is that none of us judge one another although we are sad when someone relapses. The amazing part of this is that when someone relapses, he/she is welcomed back in the program with immediate effect. I now understand that I have a lifelong solution!
So when I was asked to write this short reading on my road, I handed it over to God and got direction and started to write…..you see, where I and many others were it is easy to tell all the bad stories and the facts on losing family, friends, cars, jobs and all self respect. It sometime becomes boastful and I can now see it. All it really was, was my self pity and selfishness and inconsiderate life. It was never the other people or my circumstances or anything else that led me to drinking…….it was ME who drank and I am ever grateful for Crossroads and it’s dedicated loving people who assisted in showing me the way. I will forever be grateful…….