Chris is sober and now living his best life
Hi my name is Chris, and alcohol used to be the absolute, number one, most important thing in my life. I mean that with all sincerity.
I started drinking in high school; my first drunk was a lot like my last drunk, a black out, woke up with some injuries, and not 100% sure what happened the night before. It was fun when I was younger, I was part of the “cool crowd”, life of the party, and it was just a way to loosen up and blow off steam with friends!
I had Division I College Football scholarships but decided against playing football in College, because I wanted the “full college experience”. Which entailed getting a house with four of my friends from high school, partying, and going to class sometimes! Looking back on it now, my friends didn’t have the same issues I had in school. I was put on academic probation after my first semester, and I picked up a DUI my freshman year of college. I managed to get my degree barely, and thought once I get a job, and responsibility, I’ll control the drinking.
I was hired on at an entry-level position, still going out on weekends, still having a “good time”, I was even promoted! I got this!
I then went on to own my own business in the insurance and financial services world. The pressure was intense, it was during the housing market crash, and I had invested heavily all of my personal finances into this business. As I started to struggle with the business, alcohol became a way to numb out all stress, anxiety, fear, and really any emotion or situation that I didn’t want to face. I started to not go in to the office because I thought if I just avoided problems, they would go away. I ended up having to close the business, and file bankruptcy and I thought life was pretty much over.
That was the turning point for me, and began the cycle of running away. Moving from job to job, 4 different cities, quitting jobs, being asked to leave a job, calling off work because I was to hung over, and my stomach was so upset I couldn’t get out of bed without a drink, vomiting blood, developing painful rosacea, and ballooned up to 280lbs.
I had moved to Cincinnati, I worked from home, and I recall one day watching Mike & Mike on ESPN2 with a beer in my hand to steady my stomach, my shaking hands, stop the sweating, and ease the anxiety. If any of you know that show, it starts at 6:00am in the morning. I had lost control, or, finally come to the realization I had lost control. I lost control long before that.
I remember one night calling the police on myself because I didn’t trust myself to make it through the night. There was a police officer who was about my age that arrived on scene, and drove me to the hospital, and he asked me why I was doing this to myself, and that I seemed like a good guy. He stayed with me through the check in process, and wished me well. I am still friends with him to this day. I believe the Universe sends us who we need, if our intentions are right.
I left the hospital the next day, got drunk that night, woke up with a knife underneath me where I had passed out, and at that point I Googled treatment centers, and called the first one I could find. It happened to be in Florida, they booked me a flight for the next day, which I missed, and I called them back, and was given one final chance, which I took. I called a family member to take me to the airport, and I was off to a detox center in South Florida.
It was the absolute scariest thing I had ever done in my life. My family had no idea what I was doing, they knew I was struggling, but not to this extent. But this was the beginning of letting go of control, asking for help, and taking suggestions!
I met some of the most caring, loving, amazing people on my journey. I was supposed to stay in treatment for 30 days, I stayed for 5 months. I quit the job I hated in Ohio, I found a career in South Florida, and I moved my entire life to this beautiful place. But the most important part of this move was that I changed the one constant in all of my problems, MYSELF!
I am now in the best physical shape of my life, I have a great career, I found Yoga, and am now in Yoga Teacher Training to become an RY T 200 Yoga Instructor so that I can help others. I speak at recovery centers when possible, and I have been back to speak to folks at the beginning of their journey at my detox center. I have lost 80lbs. and found that living life is much more fun than simply existing.
If you want real change, you do have to work for it, but you also have to lose the ego and let others be strong for you when you can't muster the strength to go on. There is no one best way to recover. Anyone struggling with addiction, we are all in the same subway station, there are many different routes to get to our sober destination, find the train that works for you, get on it, and don’t get off! There’s a better life out there, and it is possible for ANYONE to achieve his or her version of it.