Advice from a Recovery Alumni for Those who may be Struggling.
Substance abuse and the path to recovery are not clearly marked on any maps. The paths differ widely based on each person’s unique situation and history, and hearing even the best advice from the most well-intentioned loved ones who have never struggled can seem a bit hollow at times.
That’s why we asked some of our graduates if they would be willing to share their stories. These thoughts from alumni of Gulf Breeze Recovery are in their words. They hope to reach someone out there who may be struggling with drug addiction and give them hope. The advice may resonate with those who have just finished a drug rehab program, or help loved ones of those who may be agonizing to get a glimpse into what addiction and recovery might feel like from another perspective.
Our first interview:
1. Tell us a little bit about your drug addiction history. How long ago were you a guest at Gulf Breeze Recovery?
I began drinking at age 13, and shortly after, (I began) experimenting with drugs. I tried getting sober the first time on my own at age 17. I started up again in college at age 19. It progressed until I was 26 when I found AA. I also started getting psychiatric treatment at age 26. I had several years of sobriety before relapsing and getting a DUI. I went to (a traditional 12 step) inpatient program and stayed sober for a couple of years. I had a couple of brief relapses. In the meantime, I was married with two young children, and I was struggling to function with my mental health problems and addictive personality. My marriage was not going well, and I wasn’t a very good parent or employee. I relapsed one last time before going to Gulf Breeze Recovery and had moved out of the house to drink full time. My wife was going to divorce me the first week I got (into treatment) at Gulf Breeze Recovery, which was in July of 2014.
2. How has life been since you left?
It has been nearly two years since I left Gulf Breeze on Labor Day weekend of 2014. Since leaving Gulf Breeze, I have remained sober and rarely think of drinking or doing other behaviors, and when I do, I know how to let it pass. I remained married, and we are happier than we have ever been in 17 years of being together. I am on less medication and am happier than I have been in my entire adult life at age 44. I still (have low) moods but it doesn’t last as long, and I don’t go as low, my high moods are higher, and I am happy a majority of the time.
3. What was the primary reason you chose Gulf Breeze Recovery to help with your drug addiction?
I chose GBR because I had known about (the foundation of their program) for years, and found out through my father that (psychologist) Dr. Joe Bailey worked with all of the staff. I just knew it was the right place for me.
4. If you could offer advice to recent graduates, what would it be?
My advice to recent graduates would be to contact your aftercare life coach or counselor. Keep reading, watching videos and listening to recordings. Be patient with family, friends and personal relationships. They might not trust your change to be real. Just be yourself and they will begin to trust the new you. In your personal relationships …focus on being friends first when you get back.
5. Any final thoughts?
My final few bits of advice are to listen from your heart and trust the process, enjoy your blessings, and share wisdom with others when appropriate.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction call us at 833.551.2356 for more information about how
Gulf Breeze Recovery could help you or your loved ones today.