Okay—So, I’m An Alcoholic. Now What?

By The Fix staff 01/24/18

You should be prepared to ask questions about insurance and the day-to-day structure of treatment, as well as more complicated questions like, “Are your therapists qualified to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders?”

The outside grounds of A Better Today Recovery Services in Phoenix

I really didn’t believe I was an alcoholic in all the same ways some people don’t want to admit they’re fans of, say, Young Sheldon. That wasn’t a label I wanted to apply to myself. After all, alcoholics were Other People. I paid my bills and held down a steady job. I didn’t have any problems with the law; I didn’t have a wife who was constantly threatening to leave me over my drinking. An “alcoholic,” in my mind, was someone who couldn’t keep a job or, maybe, a person who lived under a bridge clutching a brown wrapper of whiskey. Either way, it certainly didn’t sound like something I wanted to own up to. But before I knew it, I was hiding the amount that I was drinking. It happened so suddenly, too. I turned around to discover that I was hiding bottles all around my house. A half-drunk bottle of wine in the closet. A pint of cheap vodka in my office filing cabinet. Beer in the basement. The warning signs were everywhere and it was absolute madness.

And yet I still didn’t want to admit I was an alcoholic. I figured I could beat it. I could outsmart my drinking. I was always planning ahead. I’ll stop tomorrow. I can quit next week. I can taper my drinking down to zero. None of that was true. If nothing else, my drinking simply ramped up until I was putting tall boys of Heineken in my outdoor gas grill and tucking a flask into my jacket for the drive home from work. Even when I’d admitted to myself that I had a problem, I knew that I couldn’t admit it to others. I couldn’t let the truth escape out into the open. If it did, I’d never be able to enjoy alcohol responsibly in the future. I was determined to “beat” alcoholism by myself. I honestly don’t know how many months I woke up with a blistering hangover after deciding I was an alcoholic, but it was one too many. I just didn’t know where to start or who to call or where to go. More than anything, I was afraid.

That’s where A Better Today comes in. With their individualized treatment programs and caring staff, they make the addiction recovery process much less terrifying. If nothing else, they help strip away the fear and mystery around getting sober. In fact, it just starts with a simple, no-pressure call. No situation is ever the same—and ABT understands that. The good news is that no matter the complexity of your situation, ABT can help you get answers. Better yet, they know that recovery isn’t simple. Trained addiction specialists will answer all of your questions over the phone. The people at ABT know that choosing a treatment facility isn’t easy and isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Let’s face it: it’s a life-changing decision. It certainly wasn’t an easy one for me. When I entered treatment, I had lots of questions about the level of care I’d receive. You should be prepared to ask questions about insurance and the day-to-day structure of treatment, as well as more complicated questions like, “Are your therapists qualified to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders?” ABT encourages you to ask questions, which can help put your mind at ease and help you know what to look for. They’ll even offer solutions and insights you might not have considered. Quite frankly, I realized that there were dozens of questions I hadn’t even thought of asking.

ABT operates several different facilities throughout the country. With locations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon, there’s no shortage of options to get you the treatment you or a loved one may desperately need. Out-of-state treatment is very often crucial to recovery since it cuts you off from your dealers, familiar routes, neighborhoods, enabling family members and anyone/anything that keeps you in the cycle of substance misuse. ABT recognizes that arriving in an unfamiliar location can cause anxiety and potentially trigger problematic behavior, so they have a transportation staff that will meet clients at airports and drive them to their facility. Within 24 hours of arriving, you’re guaranteed medical treatment to help you through withdrawal.

The admissions process at ABT is designed to make everything as smooth and painless as possible. From the second you set foot inside one of their facilities, you’ll be assigned a case manager who will listen to your situation, your needs, your fears and, ultimately, your goals. For me, having anyone listen without a look of shock, disgust or awe was a big step toward achieving long-term sobriety. It immediately made me feel less alone and lost in the world. Case managers at ABT can help you navigate the outside world, too. From writing letters to court to securing passes to attend previously scheduled meetings, ABT offers you as much flexibility as it does confidence that you’re progressing. From individualized to group treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy to equine therapy, ABT offers a wide range of options for potential clients that cater to the person who matters most: you.

No matter what, treatment is a highly individual process. There’s no one-size-fits-all model. It takes work and an open mind. But most of all, it takes willingness. Recovery is a lifelong process. Personally, I’ve discovered that treatment is as important as having an aftercare program in place before you leave. In many ways, it’s an even more important component than treatment itself. ABT can help tailor a roadmap for success once you leave the facility. Addiction recovery doesn’t need to be a mystery or confusing. It may seem like all hope is lost, but that’s far from the case. It’s never too late to start on a better tomorrow. For me, sobriety was less about not drinking than it was about reaching my full potential in life. ABT is dedicated to every one of its clients for overcoming their struggles and achieving things they never thought possible.

For more information, find A Better Today on Facebook and Twitter.

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