It was time to go home. After I underwent the detoxification and I was clean, identified what triggers my cravings for alcohol and learned a few new methods of coping with my problems at the rehab center, I had to go out into the world and put them into practice.
Frankly, it was a rough road to tread on when I was told that I needed to change everything in my life. I had to say goodbye to the people I used to have a drink with. I had to stay away from the places at which I used to hang out. I had to erase everything that made sense from my memory and start fresh.
The pieces are scattered all over the place
Once I got out of the clinic, I took a deep breath and said to myself “This is the first day of the rest of your life”. You might take it as a cliché, but the truth is that I was feeling better and I was rather confident and proud of being able to reach my goal.
As many of you know, these feeling don’t last indefinitely. Even though I managed to survive without alcohol in the rehab center, the real test took place when I got back into the real world. I felt overwhelmed to see that, regardless of where I turned, I was looking at pieces of my failure. I was feeling besieged by a sentiment of despair and I really wanted to pour myself a drink.
I had to do my best and not allow panic to take a hold of me. I started reminding myself that it’s not the places, people, and things that need to change, but me. I can’t transform anyone and anything around me, but I can amend my actions, my words, myself.
I am blessed
The person who helped me pull myself together during those first days back in the real world was my wife. While things were rather cold between us due to my addiction, she always stood by me and supported me. She was there when I needed the most and met my shortcoming without judgment.
The best way to deal with the overwhelming pressure you experience during the first days back consists of surrounding yourself with people who don’t drink. My wife only had a glass of wine occasionally at dinner and didn’t really enjoyed the taste of alcohol, as I found out those days.
Because I was afraid to drink again if left alone, she took her vacation days earlier to be there for me. We started planting a small organic garden in our backyard and we were cooking together every day. We used to take long bicycle rides together and revisited the nearby places where we fell in love. I can truly say that I felt I was home.
Having the people that you care about show their support in times when the whole world’s weight rests squarely on your shoulders is essential. However, don’t forget that irrespective of your loved ones support, you are the only one who can keep yourself sober.