Debbie Drake 2-9-99 Essay#1
I am a recovering alcoholic. I have been sober for 18months. My boyfriend Mark is also a recovering alcoholic. Today, we are proud to say that we have won our battle over alcoholism, one day at a time. To overcome alcoholism checking ourselves into a rehabilitation center showed me what love is really like because, I experience dedication, sacrifice, and support.
Sobriety takes dedication. Dedication must come from within your heart and soul. The alcoholic must first admit that he/she has a disease. The dedication to become sober is a long process, which is done one day at a time. These processes consist of wanting to be a stronger person, have self-esteem, and willingness to succeed. Mark and I dedicated ourselves to help one another. First we had to help ourself. We must also have the dedication to help others suffering with this disease also. Letting others know that we all have this disease called alcoholism, and are willing to listen, share stories, and advice to eachother. In this process the alcoholic gets to know their self and others suffering. He/she will feel more comfortable knowing they are not alone.
When placing ourselves into this rehab center we learned that we must sacrifice many things. These sacrifices were very hard to accept. For example, distance from our loved ones. My family lives near by but the visiting times and the drive were an inconvenience for them. I was understanding to this problem, as long as Mark was close by that is all the comforting I needed. Markís family lives in New Jersey. They sent cards to let him know they too were on his side. Another sacrifice was having to quit our jobs. We had no means of income for the first three months. There were bills outside of this center that had to be paid. Our families pulled together to help us at this time of need. Our mortgage payment wasnít going to stop for our inconvenience we placed ourselves in. After the three months had past, we were allowed to get jobs. We had to pay rent for staying there at the Salvation Army facility. It was like boot camp. We were told when to shower, eat, smoke and visit. We had to get up, make our beds, clean out our lockers for inspection, then head to the cafeteria for breakfast at 5:30. Finally time for chore duty. Clean toilets, vacuum, and dust the forum. It was not much fun. You had to make it fun for yourself to get though it.
The most difficult sacrifice unable to get used to was not being able to see my boyfriend much. We had different schedules. We slept in totally different buildings, which once you have been sleeping next to someone for eight years it is hard to sleep alone. Our eating schedules were totally opposite from one another. The ladies and gentleman were only allowed to visit with one another on Sundays from 12:00 to 5:00. Clients were discouraged from inacting with another. For this reason Mark and I went to the Director, Mike Saggs. We advised him of our situation, that we were lovers and came here together to help one another beat this disease. Mr. Saggs was a gentleman and understood us. He allowed us to spend one hour an evening together talking about the day. That was appreciated very much.
The most important issue for me was the support I gave and received from Mark. Support from loved ones is the most important factor. To know people appreciate you more for, trying to better your self and become a stronger person, is all the support a person needs. The encouragement from loved ones makes you feel confident about the recovery process. For Mark and myself we knew this was the best thing for our relationship as well as for ourselves. Having a special person to share this experience with that will give you one hundred percent support makes it worthy.
This one experience has showed me what dedication; sacrifices and support are really like. I had to search deep within myself to accept many things I didnít agree with. In the end, today I am still sober. I