People with addiction issues come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.
Some individuals’ issues are easily recognizable and they can only thinly disguise their addiction. Other people hide their addictions very well, even to themselves – until they can’t anymore.
Patty fit into the latter category. Patty worked as a highly trained professional in a specialized field. She held a job title that demanded a great deal of respect, and her coworkers saw her as intelligent and capable. She had a high stress career. The job demanded a lot, and she gave a lot. When she would finally get home after a long, taxing day, Patty longed for time to turn off and wind down. In search of some “me” time, she would have a drink – or lots of drinks.
Patty’s drinking habit, however, started long before her job. Her drinking began in high school and escalated through college. Toward the end of her college years, Patty moved in with a group of people who drank every day, so she did too. It seemed like no big deal.
Slowly, alcohol became her life. After a while, she couldn’t visualize life without it. Patty got married. Her husband also drank, and his parents had been alcoholics. Her husband worked in a high stress job just like she did. After a long, stressful day at work, they would wind down together with a few drinks. Although they had alcohol in common, it was not enough to keep their marriage together. They began to argue, and tension in the relationship increased.
Then, Patty’s mother became ill and passed away. She and her mother had been close. The only way Patty knew how to cope with the pain was to drink. After the culmination of her mother’s death and the end of her marriage, Patty’s drinking increased to 24-7.
Patty had moments of clarity when she knew she needed to stop drinking.
She recognized that she needed to go somewhere to help her stop. She felt that an outpatient program wasn’t enough for her and didn’t want to go to a 12-Step program. She had seen her husband go to 12-Step meetings and walk away from the meeting just to go have a drink.
Patty started having health issues, and began fainting. She fainted once in a nail salon while she was getting her nails done and another time at a recital. Finally, Patty fainted in her bathroom, where she hit her head on the bathtub and had to be admitted to the hospital.
By that time, her now ex-husband had died from similar alcohol related issues. Patty’s daughter visited her in the hospital and told her that she didn’t want to see her mother die the same way.
Patty was ready and asked her sister for help. She doesn’t remember how she happened upon Gulf Breeze Recovery, but believes it was where she was meant to be.
As soon as she was discharged from the hospital, Patty checked into Gulf Breeze Recovery. She remembers being terrified when she arrived, but she said the caring medical staff put her at ease. She knew it was the right decision for her.
Patty’s life is completely different with her long-term sobriety. She says that sobriety has made her life worth living again. She values relationships more and is able to go out in the evening without fear of getting drunk and driving. Patty has even rediscovered interests that she forgot she had. She enjoys traveling. She had always thought the idea of sipping wine in Paris sounded wonderful, but she has discovered that sipping hot chocolate works even better.
What Patty did not realize while she was drinking is that she was drinking to numb things or run away from situations. Patty sees that clearly now. She had been withdrawing from life and missing so much of what it had to offer. The crazy thing was, she was doing it to herself.
Patty feels with great certainty that choosing to drink would be choosing to miss out on life again. That is something she is just not willing to do these days. What most people don’t realize, Patty said, is that sobriety is so underrated!
As a part of her own self-care, Patty has remained a dedicated participant in the Gulf Breeze Recovery Zoom sessions for graduates. She also still maintains a monthly session with her aftercare educator. She recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy focus. She is healthy and happy. Finally, she is enjoying her family, her friends and her life.
If you or someone you care about, has an ongoing history of substance use and/or relapse, contact us at Gulf Breeze Recovery or call: (855) 433-4480 to speak to an addiction expert to learn more about our program that has helped so many people overcome their addiction and embrace life.
We help people not just to survive, but to THRIVE!
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