Alcohol Detox: My Second Chance

Like many others out there right now. I lost my job in manufacturing five years ago, and was not been able to find work for a while. I'm 53 years old and have never been married, but have two children for whom I'll always be grateful. Without them pushing me, I never would've gone into alcohol detox, and might have even wound up needing a liver transplant. I became an alcoholic mainly through depression and boredom. After about eight months of pounding the pavement looking for any job that would let me keep my house, I got frustrated and discouraged. With little money and even less motivation, I started drinking during the day to dull the pain and fill the hours. I always kept a six-pack or two of beer in the fridge, but it used to last me a week, not just two days. Even though I was becoming a regular at my local liquor store, I still didn't think I'd ever need alcohol detox. 

 
The formula was simple: when I was sober, I was depressed; when I drank, I was happy. I saw no reason to stay sober if I had nowhere to go and nothing to do. My unemployment checks were paying the mortgage and keeping the lights on, as well as the television that had become my new best friend. I learned that when you have a lot of time to think about things, but virtually nothing to look forward to, your self-confidence starts to disappear. Going to alcohol detox or rehab would have meant that I thought I was worth saving, and at the time, that just wasn't the case. I stayed in my house for about a year, growing more and more dependent on alcohol. 
 
On one of my more ambitious days, I dragged myself off the couch and went to my doctor for a check-up. Part of my severance package from my job was another year's worth of benefits. They were almost running out, so I figured I'd better get my licks in while I could. I went for blood-work, and the results showed damage to my liver. Naturally my doctor was curious. I wasn't completely honest, but he also wasn't an idiot. He'd been my doctor for years, and understood what was going on from the look of me, as well as the test results. He told me that I didn't check myself into an alcohol detox facility and get some help, I could wind up needing a liver transplant in just a few years time. I was a little alarmed, but thought he was just exaggerating. 
 
A few more weeks went by and nothing had changed. I was still drinking heavily during the day, and making no effort to seek alcohol detox or rehab. One day when I realized I was out of alcohol, I ventured to what was now my second home to get some more. I didn't have any cash on me, so I went to pay for my usual three twelve packs of Rolling Rock with my debit card. It was declined. I didn't think I could still feel shame, but at that moment, it was the only thing I felt. I slunk out of the store with two thoughts: my money was gone, and I would have to find a new liquor store. Apparently my mortgage and bill payments left my bank account in the red. I had no money and little choice but to wait four days until my next unemployment check came. What followed was a nightmare. 
 
The need for alcohol detox was becoming more evident with each passing minute. I was throwing up bile, spending hours in bed with blinding headaches, and at one point, legitimately hallucinating. The whole time, I was counting the minutes until I could get my hands on more alcohol. On the fourth day, I'd forgotten that I had dinner scheduled with my kids and their visit took me completely by surprise. They rang the bell, and I answered the door looking like something out of an after-school special. I hadn't showered in two days, and was irritable, sloppy and belligerent. During my downward spiral I had stopped calling them as much as I used to, and now they saw exactly why-- just four days without a drink, and I was completely unhinged. I managed to get through the night, but they were wise to what I was going through. The next few days led to them convincing me that I needed to enter alcohol detox. 
 
My son was very blunt with me, and said, among other things: "Dad, you're 52 years old, and quite frankly you don't have a lot of time left as it is. How do you want to spend it?". My daughter seemed to be there mainly for moral support, but the look on her face and the tears in here eyes were the determining factor. I had raised these kids, basically by myself, and finally saw that I had done something worthwhile with my life. The combination of exhaustion, embarrassment, and self-pity forced me to acknowledge that they were right--the next day I entered alcohol detox. 
 
At first my time in alcohol detox was a longer version of the previous four-day period I'd spent without alcohol: night-sweats, migraines, vomiting, etc. But all I really had to do was ride it out. The staff in my program was great, and really helped me to get clean. Shortly after I completed my detox period, my kids insisted I finish a residential rehab program-I listened. During my stay, I noticed on their bulletin board that they had an opening for a head of maintenance. I applied and was hired the following week. Thanks to my kids, and a successful alcohol detox period, I literally got a second chance at life.

Contact the The National Center for Alcohol and Drug Detox anytime toll-free at (888) 243-3869 or through our online form, for our recommendations of the best medically licensed detox centers for you or your loved one!

Detox should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a licensed detox treatment facility. For your safety we do not recommend any rapid or ultra rapid detox centers.