Cara Bantom-O’Neill, MS., MCAP, RMHCI | Corporate Director of Alumni Services
I remember when I realized that I was a real alcoholic and understood I had a disease that I couldn’t control on my own. That was a huge and scary moment in my life, and I was not happy. At that time, I was able to admit that I was an alcoholic, but I was nowhere near accepting it.
The thought that raced through my head was, “why me?”
Why do I have to have this terminal illness? Why am I in treatment? Why can’t I drink safely like other people?
I was upset about this newfound revelation, and I had no problem expressing it. I felt like being an alcoholic was the worst thing that ever happened to me.
Fortunately, I was working closely with a sponsor during this time, and I told her how I felt. I will never forget what she said back to me as I shared with her. She looked me in the eye and said, “Why not you, Cara?”
For the first time, I stepped back from my self-pity.
I understood that things happen in life, and this was one of those things for me.
Through working with my sponsor and with a therapist, I processed the fact that I was an alcoholic. In time, I became accepting, and now I am grateful. Grateful for the life that I have in recovery.
As I have maintained my sobriety over the years, I have unfortunately watched friends try to go back out. These were friends who had worked a strong program, gotten all the “things” in life, and then quit doing the work. It is tough to watch as I have not seen any of my friends successfully go back out. Typically, things get bad, and they get bad quickly.
As I have watched this happen, I often think to myself, why have I been able to stay in the program.
Why am I still sober?
During these times, I think back to what my first sponsor said, “Why not you, Cara?”
Over the years, I have come to realize that I am not that special. Things happen in life, many things that I have to accept. I have learned that sometimes I need time to accept things, good and bad things, honestly.
The First Step says, “we admitted,” not “we accepted.”
I think of that often because it reminds me that I need to take specific steps to get where I want to be spiritually in my life. This practice applies to LIFE and all the fun and not-so-fun things that come with LIFE.
Humility tells me that I am no better or less than anyone else. So, if I can be the person diagnosed with a disease, I can be the person who recovers from that disease.
There is hope. Trust in the Power and never give up.
Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.
For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.