Everyone who has struggled with alcohol or drug abuse has their own story. John Seabrook was fortunate enough to write an account that includes his opening chapter about how he started down the path to alcohol abuse, and a closing chapter about how he emerged from a decades-long struggle, through student days at Princeton and Oxford, and a successful career as a journalist. I recommend reading his account in full, but there are few things in the article that are worth underlining.
Recovery after a lifetime of alcoholism
Before John decided to seek help, he had literally spent his entire adult life as an alcoholic. What’s more, his problematic relationship with alcohol went all the way back to his thirteenth birthday. John’s adult personality had been forged amidst regular, even daily bouts of heavy drinking. Even the most basic relationships in his life were tied up with alcohol. John had been introduced to alcohol by his wine connoisseur father and it was partly by exploring his father’s wine cellar that John had sunk deeply into alcohol addiction. Even so, at the age of 56, he managed to quit drinking. The key, as so often, was that his family forced him to confront his drinking problem and he finally sought help from a therapist.
A successful career
Like many of my clients, John managed to combine his drinking with a successful career, in his case as a writer. Alcoholism didn’t prevent him from making money or from enjoying professional acclaim. What forced him to quit was his wife’s refusal to continue tolerating his behavior. John had to stop to save his marriage. Even financially sustainable drinking can cause immense problems for those around you. Eventually, if unchecked, it will cause problems for you too.
An individual diagnosis and treatment plan
Before John gave up drinking for good, he tried moderate drinking. As I have written elsewhere, for people who are abusing alcohol, but are not true alcoholics, this can be an effective option. John, however, was a true alcoholic. His treatment involved returning to the psychological roots of his alcoholism – his relationship with his father – with a therapist. Your alcohol problem is individual to you, and your solution needs to be individual too. Here at Recovery Options, we offer personalized treatment and group programs that focus on helping you recover from addiction. Call to learn more about our recovery programs, or just fill out the contact form and click Send.