My name is Regi. This morning I got up as usual, saw my wife off to work and then proceeded about the work of getting my hair trimmed and setting about the days task ahead. I was doing it myself and free hand and looking in the mirror I started off. Half way through a rush of memories started me to thinking about how I got this far. I started drinking in the early years of my starting working full time in the 80s. Knowing that since I didn’t go to college, I thought I would have to get used to working in factories, as back then they were the easiest to find. Then, it was not uncommon to stop off at a place nick-named ‘the working man’s bar’ along with most of the other workers from several factories in the area. I thought it was what a man does. I fit in for years as I got older repeating it every day and later even on weekends as well. Usually we all went bowling together, taking the kids to games and other things most of which involved alcohol. This went on through the 90s, the messy business entering to the 2000s. My drinking increased way up into my retirement where I am at now. This time I was drinking all kinds of things beer, whiskey and vodka. I had a problem. I had become a functioning drunk. I knew this had to stop, but after a bout with a near disaster I still didn’t get it. It wasn’t until one night, I had had enough. Without telling anyone I looked up treatment centers and found the Watershed. I didn’t talk to my wife about it, She was at work.
I talked to a wonderful woman, who seemed to understand my frustration and obvious addiction to alcohol. I left a message on my wife’s phone and started making plans to set off on something that I thought at the time, a frightening new adventure I knew nothing about, but I did know something had to change. I was tired of being drunk all the time. Especially after years of my wife coming home finding me drunk… Again… The plane touched down at the airport, a car came to pick me up, and all kind of thoughts came to mind thinking, what have I got myself into, now. I was in for a life changing experience unlike anything I ever knew. I was greeted, admitted and informed about the treatment center. I was on my way to recovery. The incredible staff was great. Every step of the way they were there to assist, inform and aid me with living quarters, food and then the treatment itself. In meetings I met with folks suffering from the same addictions as I did. We all came from different parts of the country, with different backgrounds, all with the same exact thing I had. It was rough at first, but as things progressed, I was learning to talk about my addiction, work with others towards a solution to the problem. It’s roots, it’s causes and if not treated with the care Watershed provided, later death. They even took care of my Medicines, fed me and even went out of their way to assist in getting the wallet I lost on the plane getting there. Needless to say wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t drunk on the plane in the first place.
Rhonda and Vashaun said they were just doing their job, but deep down inside I knew they had gone beyond their job description to assist me. At my age I’ve learned that kind of care does not come by selfish thinking. It comes from people who understood I was sick and needed help before I ended up hurting or even taking my life or someone else’s. They were all right there for me; a drunken mess of a man that just wanted the nightmare to end and a new chance to live. I went on finishing the trimming of my hair thinking about the friends I met there, the staff, especially the Techs, who even work tirelessly to get me back to a world I knew was there, but could never reach on my own. Chris, Joe and the others were troopers. When I finished my hair I had noticed how nice, not professionally, but nice job I had done and thought about the time when my hands were not so steady. I truly thank God and the entire team of workers and friends at Watershed. A place that has left a memory placed in my mind forever. Had never known that kind of care. Now I think it’s me who should go and tell others about The Watershed, and drunks don’t have to be drunks anymore. By my actions, I hope they see the benefits of what I have received from your treatment as I continue on that highway to heaven equipped with the tools to stay sober from you all there. I don’t ever think I’ll ever like Florida, but the soil The Watershed sets on there, to me, is sacred ground. Land of a new birth for me. The beginning of a better life with my wife, the grandkids that will see a different, sober grandpa and a retirement I can live the way I think God wants it to be.
Thank you Watershed. You have to know a tear of joy, a glad and healthy heart, and praises if your good service will always be with a guy in Michigan you help save. I want to be helpful to you as you have for me. I’ve learned we’re all a part of this new world of recovery.