I came to The Watershed tired, depressed, confused, anxious, nervous, angry at everything but mostly myself…. basically every emotion one could feel going into an unknown environment and although willing to accept I had a problem and knew it, still not ready to ADMIT it. Especially to those who didn’t know anything about me. I got through the admission doors and although having been poked and medically assessed countless times in the last couple years mainly due to my addiction, I was now more nervous than ever before. Actually, I was TERRIFIED.
I was an alcoholic, and what I like to call a “little, big ONE.” I am barely 5 feet tall and weigh a little under 110 pounds but drank like a fish. My drinking started in my college years however, since my move to South Florida in 2008 my drinking escalated heavily. Vodka was my drink of choice, rum was second. Shots on nights out were normal but trust me when I say; I didn’t need to go out to drink. Actually, I preferred being along being I was somewhat used to it anyway. I was away from my family and close friends and simply being away was the perfect disguise. I didn’t need to hide it because there was nothing to hide, or at least I thought. I had the typical “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” mentality. I would get off work and because I really didn’t have any friends when I initially moved down here I would go to the closest local bar or just go to the liquor store and have cocktails until I fell asleep. Got up, went to a successful day at work and did it all over again. When I did finally form a social network and got into a serious relationship, drinking was more than normal, it was actually a prerequisite almost to even feel normal so I blended in nicely to say the least. What I thought was normal for a young, single, bubbly and highly motivated “workaholic” and young woman quickly turned into overlooked alcoholic with an addiction that progressed significantly over the years and now, into a fatal life threatening condition. So significant that I nearly died, more than once, got out of countless drinking and driving situations and was on the verge of severing family, romantic and close friendships all at once.
Finally came the final push from my family and boyfriend, hopefully someday, husband, that brought me to find an answer at The Watershed. With much reservation compiled with the knowing that this was the last straw for me, I checked myself in. They took me into their intense care for three whole weeks and although to their recommendation for furthering treatment, I chose to not go to PHP and pursue all levels of recovery. I left there with a new confidence, motivation and these tools (aka the 12 steps/principles) that made me realize that being sober and living a healthy, exciting and rewarding life was something I didn’t need to lose sight of any longer. For so long and so dearly, I knew this was something that I wanted back. I started remembering the “good ol’ days” when I was an unbelievable high school and college athlete, a Master’s student, and how at one point in time was a distinguished international youth advocate and professional and lastly, someone who once had more friends that could an exceed two classrooms put together. There was so much I had forgotten I had, that all seemed to become overlooked, lost or simply forgotten because of my need to hide, be lonely and drink.
Now I am on the verge of starting Chapter 2. Actually, it’s like a whole new novel and one with hopefully a much happier ending that the first. I now have a sponsor, go to one or two AA meetings a day and each day set a new goal while keeping the most important goal still in the front of my mind. And that goal is simple. It is three words. Those words are DON’T PICK UP. The Watershed has taught me that sobriety is only as complicated and difficult as you make it out to be. If we choose to make drugs and alcohol our answer, it will be. If we allow taking one shot, or using “just one last time” more important than picking up the phone, going for a drive or calling our sponsor, than that is our choice. Is it our disease talking? Maybe, but ultimately it is our CHOICE. My choices up until now led me to The Watershed and instead of resorting to the bottle and being a .2, .3, or possibly not any of those because I’ll be dead, to choose a better and healthier choice while realizing that the 3 weeks at The Watershed was time well spent, not just another experience to have under my belt.