I was a daily drinker rapidly becoming a 24/7 drinker at the moment I arrived at New Hope Recovery Center. I had experienced ER visits, auto accidents, and damaged relationships as a result of my drinking and was somewhat willing to admit I had a problem, but was certain I would eventually find a way to manage the situation on my own such as only drinking at home. As I continued to drink while waiting for a solution to present itself, my wife grew increasingly concerned and asked me to seek help. I agreed to do an intake interview for an outpatient program, planning to lie my way through it, perhaps attend a few sessions, and avoid making any changes to my life.
The night before the interview, I drank to a blackout (a fairly regular occurrence), and was kicked out of my house by my wife. I showed up for the intake interview at New Hope Recovery Center at 7 AM the next morning still heavily intoxicated and bearing a black eye from a drunken fight earlier in the week. I experienced a moment of clarity, and realized how ludicrous attempts to downplay my drinking would be. I was willing to say yes when the 28-day residential day program was recommended in lieu of an intensive outpatient program.
Having made the decision to enter the program, I took it seriously and honestly attempted to do what was asked of me by the staff. I was rewarded with new knowledge about alcoholism and a real look at myself. I recognize now that such a fully immersive experience was necessary for me to see how sick I really was. I am absolutely certain that if I had attempted the program of action recommended by Alcoholics Anonymous without such a foundation, I would have quickly judged my way out of AA and back into alcoholic misery. I followed the residential day treatment program with the evening intensive outpatient program and the weekly aftercare program, both of which helped provide a transition back into everyday life and introduced me to others new to recovery.
I have now been sober for just under 18 months and am an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. While my only goal was to stop or control my drinking, I have experienced a more comprehensive shift in my perception and thought processes. Drinking myself into oblivion no longer sounds like a great idea; neither do random bursts of violence or concentrating exclusively on my own needs at all times. Spirituality and intuition, which would have been laughable to me in the past, are real parts of my life, and have made it richer and more rewarding.
I remember thinking while being driven from the intake interview at New Hope Recovery Center to a detox center that it was the worst day in my life. I can honestly say now that it has proven to be one of the best due to the subsequent changes in my life.
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