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Reflecting on February 11, 2011

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-Scott H., Hanley Center alumnus

Am I really checking into a Rehab Center? Me? I am 58 years old, married, or used to be…

I took my first exhilarating drink as an adolescent and continued as a college student, a young man, husband, father and a business man for over 40 years. There were consequences but none of any major concern, most easily forgotten. Drinking was part of my life: celebration, work, leisure and relaxation. Drinking never interfered, I thought.  I quit drinking many, many mornings but never seriously thought I had a drinking problem.

My heavy drinking became uncontrolled drinking in early 2010. My obsession to possess and consume alcohol invaded every waking hour of every day. A propensity to lie and deny this insanely blinding compulsion to drink overran virtually every tenant of normal decency I  possessed as a human being. Family, career and assets lost all meaning. “Life became over rated.” I agreed to an outpatient detox program where any consumption of alcohol could be deadly. I drank all the same.

I voluntarily entered the Hanley Center for a 10 day period of detox. The pressures from the outside world were immense so a 10 day stay became 30 days in rehab. My month in the care of Hanley brought me back from the brink of doom. I saw untitled lights of hope. The notion that I was fine was destroyed and a crucial question of me being an alcoholic was successfully planted. I learned about the disease of alcoholism. I was stung by its description as cunning, baffling and powerful. The options for a true alcoholic were succinctly laid out: Spiritual Awakening in a 12 Step Program, institutional life or death.

I miraculously opted for a life in recovery.  Yes, I made an unbending commitment to adhere to what I was instructed in the Hanley Center: I attend meetings daily. I have a Sponsor and I work the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. I pray daily. I have found stillness. I am a Sponsor as well, helping other alcoholics. I am active in my home group.

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Today, as a fifth year anniversary in sobriety approaches, I state that my commitment to sobriety is stronger than ever. My life in sobriety already exceeds my wildest expectations.