There are probably more different treatment methods for alcoholism than there are whiskey recipes in the world. However, not all treatments – nor all whiskey distilling techniques for that matter – are capable of producing quality results.
Looking back, I finally figured out why I had to relapse four times and switch therapists ever more times before I could finally achieve a stable state of sobriety. You see, instead of dealing with the causes of my irrational abuse of liquor, I was trying to treat the behavior that stemmed from them. To put it simply, try as you might, if the attitude towards life doesn’t change drastically, then your chances of kicking the habit for good are slim to none.
After the first time in rehab, nothing had changed for the better
Getting back to my old life of disappointments, failure and refusal to see anything in a positive light was definitely not helping. While I was away at the clinic, at least my problems seemed to be far away. Now that I was home again, they all busted through the door alongside with me and I had to face them. It didn’t take long before depression and the repressed anger managed to knock down my carefully erected barriers and I eventually relapse. Back then, I really had no idea why I was drinking; it was just my way of numbing down the negative feelings that kept clumping up.
Try and try again…
The second, third and fourth time didn’t go much better, particularly since I was beginning to lose hope. On the brink of giving up the idea of sobriety and returning to alcohol, I decided to give a new therapist a chance and boy, did it ever prove the best decision in my life.
Unlike my other therapists, she didn’t inquire about the relapse triggers or the cravings I experienced prior to the slips. No, she wanted to know about the problems – work related, marital, etc. – in my life prior to alcoholism and my attitude towards life in that period. Trimming layer after layer of repressed emotions, we eventually came to the root of my alcoholism: low self esteem and chronic depression.
We were able to pinpoint the exact moment when the straw broke the figurative camel’s back: when my failure to qualify for a promotion and a raise coincided with my wife’s desire to have children. To put it simply, while my depression and sentiments of helplessness against the unforgiving odds were manageable up to that point, they took a turn for the worse then as I was feeling control over my life slipping through my fingers. With no way to cope, I started drinking more and more every day and, well, you know the rest.
Once I started learning how to uproot my deeply repressed emotions and gradually became capable of accepting the things I could not change, I felt like I once again had the reins to my own life journey. Addressing the underlying sources of negative emotions rendered my desire to drink (until I could forget) obsolete and, having been sober for four years now, I definitely recommend giving it a try!