At around 45 years of age, drinking escalated quickly. I was on a high-pressure project that was not going well, I was unhappy, and I was tired of feeling sick… ALL THE TIME. I woke up one morning at my home, still pretty drunk, and started flirting with my wife. She jumped out of bed and yelled “You are tearing this family apart!”. She rarely yelled at me. She rarely gets upset about things. It instantly “woke me up”. I knew she was right. I had known in the back of my mind that things were spinning out of control and that it couldn’t continue for much longer. It was like a cold bucket of water was thrown in my face.
I got out of bed and said “Lets get help. Lets find a place for me to get straightened out.” The relief on her face was hard for me. I realized at that moment how miserable she was, how hard I had made things.
When we first met, I had an opportunity to move to Dallas TX for a great job opportunity. We agreed that we would give it two years and would then decide if we wanted to stay in Dallas. Things went well and I thought Dallas wasn’t too bad. I asked her at about the two year mark, “So, what do you think? Do you want to stay here or move back to Atlanta?” It all came out. She said “I hate it here. There is nothing about this place I like. I miss Atlanta. I miss my family. I want to move back.”
She had not complained once while we were living in Dallas. Not once. So you can imagine, when she told me that ‘I was tearing this family apart’, she wasn’t just complaining or exaggerating. Things were in fact out of control and we were about to reach a breaking point.
We searched for In-Patient Rehab clinics and found one in a near by our town, about 45 minutes away. We didn’t call, we decided to drive there and hope I would just be admitted if I was at there doorstep.
The puzzlement on her face was staggering. “What are you doing here?” the lady at that center said.
“I need help. Everything is spinning out of control. I am afraid I am going to lose my job and my family. I want to be admitted. Today!”
“Well, you just cant show up and be admitted. You have to be evaluated. You have to be referred.”
“But things are really bad. I need help now.”
“I am sorry, but you need to see our outpatient office and be evaluated and referred by them” she said.
“But I really really really need help now.” I replied.
“I am sorry, but we can not admit straight straight away. Your insurance would not cover it”
“Well shit”, I thought. Freaking insurance. I hadn’t thought about insurance.
“Let me give you our outpatient facility contact information. They are just a mile or two away. I am sure they can get you in here as soon as possible if you need it.”
I realized the situation and said “Thank you. You are very kind. I will go to your outpatient facility. Thank you.”
With a broad smile she said “I can not show you around the facility but I can give you a quick overview. We have trails through the woods that you can walk everyday. Family can visit you every weekend. The facilities are very comfortable and I am sure you will love it here. We have the best chef on site. He makes the most wonderful meals. The food is the best anywhere around here!”
“How are his soups?” I asked. I love soup, especially in the fall.
“Oh… he has a verity of soups I am sure you will love. He mixes it up every day. All from scratch.”
Even though my wife was looking at me with frustration, I am totally on bored now. I love soups. I got the information from the nice lady and went straight to the outpatient rehab facility. The receptionist was also very nice “We can pencil you in for Thursday next week”.
“But I really need to see someone now. Things are really starting to fall apart.”
“I am sorry, but our councilors are all booked up until then. That is the best we can do.”
I made the appointment, went back to work, and waited until the following week. continued to drink. I continued to hate work. I continued to hate life.