I remember a happy, simple, joyful childhood. I was not aware that my working class family had to struggle, like most people do. Life seemed carefree. As I began my life’s journey, I became less at ease. In school, church, or with friends, I had a sense of feeling less than. I wasn’t as handsome. I wasn’t as fast or could not jump as far. I wasn’t popular, and I was overly sensitive to any perceived criticism. If life didn’t go my way, I had poor coping skills. I tried many forms of escape or avoidance of any difficulties.
In my late teens, I began to drink alcohol. Friends and I would drink to get intoxicated. I associated with kids that shared the desire to get “high.” To feel alright. To fit in. To feel better about myself. At times, I would drink enough to not feel anything or even blackout. Undergraduate school was demanding enough that I did not party as often. My father died during my junior year. I did not work through this grief for a number of years.
During my career in research, weekends might include binge drinking or a period of being dry. Upon entering dental school, I was afraid to drink at first. Soon, I returned to alcohol use on Thursday or Friday nights. Over the years, I had my alcohol-related legal and marital troubles, but I continued to drink. My alcoholism was progressing.
A divorce and difficulties in interpersonal relationships (personal and professional) led me to seek help from CDP. Residential care at an alcohol treatment facility helped me out of denial. I began to understand that I am an alcoholic. My personal history made this self-evident.
I was where I needed to be. The best place to begin my recovery. Alcohol use had halted my emotional and spiritual growth. Here, I began to reconnect with the creator of heaven and earth; God that I had known in my youth.
Almost forty years have passed in which I abused alcohol. Now, I know a different way of healthy living. With new priorities of recovery, it is my responsibility to strive towards health of mind, body, and soul. Counseling and an active Recovery Program are essential. A fellowship of alcoholics with the common goal of sobriety provides a guide for a new way of living.
My road to recovery has led me to a meaningful connection with God. I have stronger relationships with my two sons. I am more fully engaged in all my relationships, personal and professional. My road to recovery has brought me full circle, back to a more happy, simple, and joyful life.
A Dentist in Recovery