There was a time where I knew I had a problem with alcohol, but I didn’t consider myself an alcoholic. I was able to go without drinking for long periods of time, I even pretended to be a “social drinker.” It wasn’t until I’d hit a drinking binge that would last for weeks at a time did, I start to wonder if I had a problem. Even through this wondering though, I could still function, so I always thought “did I really have a problem?” One day, I finally surrendered and accepted that I needed help.
For me, getting help wasn’t just as simple as calling someone – I have lupus, which causes my case to be complex. I needed a treatment center that could handle my chronic illness and provide me regular treatment for my lupus diagnosis. Not only did my lupus stop me, but it was also very hard to leave my 10-year-old daughter. Telling her I was going to treatment so that I could “stop acting weird” as she put it, was difficult. But she became my biggest cheerleader!
When I arrived at Lakeview, I met with Dr. O and it became clear that she would be able to treat both my physical and mental ailments. I finally felt like I was maybe on a path to recovery.
Treating my lupus alongside my addiction made me quite a handful – I’m not going to write the exact words that Dr. O used to describe treating me – but I’ll let you infer! My lupus diagnosis caused many complications during my stay – my feet were swollen and bleeding from busted blisters, my clothes didn’t fit because of all the swelling. Despite all of this, I was determined to hear others share their experience and gain strength and hope from them that I did my best to laugh it off and keep my head up.
While in treatment, I was shocked to discover other women cared about what I had to say about my life and my addiction – and I finally had a group of people that I could relate to. This helped me to learn so much about myself and what I had been holding on to for so long – childhood trauma, a bad divorce, feelings about my health and the general sense of being mad at the world for my problems. Treatment helped me to start looking inward at myself and I was able to realize that I played a large role in the problems in my life. I may never have realized that without the help of Lakeview.
What I was missing so much in my life was myself and that was more than enough reason for me to get help. I didn’t know going into treatment that I would learn so much about myself and how to deal with life on life’s terms.
In my first year of sobriety, things have been thrown at me left and right – my husband’s cancer diagnosis, my daughter’s previously undiagnosed health problems, my lupus flare-ups, and a disappointing disability application – all things would have used as an excuse to drink. But because of the priceless tools I have learned, I am able to keep myself from leaning on alcohol and, instead I haven’t drank through any of it.
I am so grateful that today I am now able to live life on life’s terms. I have gained 80 pounds which you would think would get me down, but it doesn’t. I tell my girls every day that I am loving life because today, I can be me. I can be in alcohol recovery AND I can be the mom that I knew I could be and am today.
There’s so much I more I could say about Lakeview, but to write about everything and everyone that deserves to be mentioned would take me more pages than I can write! I am so grateful for the compassion that I was shown by all the employees there, and I hope they know they are truly touching lives and helping people change, one by one, day by day, one day at a time. I am just thrilled that God chose me to be one of the lucky people who has gotten their life back, thanks to Lakeview. There is no doubt that I walked into Lakeview as someone who was lost and hurting, and I left as a happy, bubbly, stronger ME. The me that I never want to lose again.