1. What was your life like before coming into Sovereign Health?
My life was completely out of control. Everything I did centered on alcohol and where my next drink would come from. I would not go anywhere unless they sold alcohol or I could sneak my own. I was constantly depressed about the things I had done in the past and anxious about my dwindling future. I had considered suicide on multiple occasions because I felt that was the only way to end the pain. I did not want to live that way anymore and I didn't have the power to stop myself from continuing down that path.
2. What are the most difficult parts struggling with addiction/mental health?
The most difficult part by far is that they go hand-in-hand. It is a vicious cycle where each one feeds off the other. It is a snowball effect where mental health problems make me want to continue in my addiction to numb the pain, and when I come down, the depression and anxiety comes back worse than before. In addition, both clouded my mind leaving me incapable of making rational decisions, thus continuing the cycle.
3. What did you learn during treatment that is most helpful in your life today?
Cognitive behavioral therapy really changed my outlook on life. I found out I am an all or nothing thinker, so when I am faced with a decision I can force myself to stop and think about the grey area. This has helped give me balance in life. I also learned that I am not the only one with a problem such as this, and that if I reach out, I can find someone who understands and has been through something similar in his or her life. I also learned that I do not need to drink to have fun and life does not have to be boring.
4. Describe how your life is different now. What is the best part of your life today?
I am not dependent on alcohol. I can make clear decisions and actually plan for the future. Simply put, I have hope. The best part of my life today is making future plans with my wife. I was living in fear of divorce and as a result I would push her away so I could have some feeling of control. Now, although things are not perfect, we are making such great progress. Making plans together, trusting one another and even giving up control for certain things to one another.
5. What are some of your goals for the future?
One of my goals for the future is to start a new career, one that makes me happy rather than just doing it for the money. Another goal is to have children. Ever since I was little, all I wanted was the television life: Family, a house and a career.
6. What would you want to tell other people that are struggling with the same issues right now that you were?
You are not alone and things can change. Just as it took a team effort to get to the moon, it takes a team effort to overcome addiction and mental health issues.