This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their path to sobriety. This story may contain behaviors or information about use that is triggering. Please use your own discretion.
We interviewed an alumna of Lakeview Health, Melodie, shortly after she celebrated a year of sobriety.
Lakeview Health (LH): What do you remember about the days before you came to Lakeview? How did you feel? Who was involved?
Melodie (M): The days prior to entering treatment at Lakeview was honestly a blur. I had been drinking so much; trying to numb anything and everything I felt so that I didn’t feel anything at all. I knew I needed to go, but I was scared and wasn’t sure what to expect, or if it would even work for me. My son Ryan, who was 21 at the time, saw me spiraling out of control. He called my sponsor who told him to get me back to Lakeview (which would be for my second time).
LH: What do you remember about your first week or so at Lakeview? How did that compare to the last few weeks you were here?
M: I came back to Lakeview on May 8th, 2016, which was Mother’s Day. I don’t remember anything about that night, but later, I was told, the staff told Ryan to get me to the nearest Emergency Room because they weren’t able to properly assess me due to my high blood alcohol content. I found out later that I had a .375 BAC and, medically, should not have survived. I am so glad that wasn’t the case.
After the fog I was in lifted, I took the bull by the horns and soaked in everything I could, like a sponge. I knew I had been given a second chance at life and I was determined to make it count. The last few weeks prior to my discharge, I was much more clear-minded. I had no more shaking and my appetite was better, along with many other positive things.
LH: Were you afraid to leave treatment? What inspired you to change your life? What was that like for you?
M: As time got closer to my discharge, I can’t say that I was ready to go out into the real world because I wasn’t. I was scared to death and was afraid that I wasn’t ready. By the time I did leave, I knew that I had learned as much as I could while at Lakeview. Since then, I’ve been able to use that in my everyday life.
The greatest inspiration to change my life was coming so close to death and coming out the other side by the Grace of God. I want to help others the way I’ve been helped and share my experience, strength, and hope.
LH: What was life like right after treatment? Was there anything that threatened your sobriety you felt you could not handle? Or was it less-scary than you thought? Did you ever reach a point where you thought couldn’t anymore? If so, what do you do in those situations?
M: Once I left treatment, the first thing I did was go to a meeting. I also started attending an IOP, which I think is very beneficial for anyone after leaving treatment. I did 90 meetings in 90 days and I continue to go to meetings, meet with my sponsor, and with my network of friends I’ve met in AA.
While I was in treatment, my beloved dog Cuddles, who was 11-years-old, got sick and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He was placed on medications and did well up until April of this year when I had to make the difficult decision to put him down.
Without sincerely working my program, talking to my sponsor, and having my network of friends in AA I can honestly say I would have drank again.
LH: After however many months sober now, you are gaining some positive momentum with sobriety, your work, and your whole attitude and outlook on life. What is it like to have made so much progress in such a short amount of time? How do you feel about yourself now? How is life different?
M: I just celebrated my 1 year on May 8th and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Are things perfect? No, and never will be, but I’m able to handle situations which used to baffle me.
I enrolled in college last Spring and I’m working on an A.A. degree in Criminal Justice. This is something I’ve always wanted to do but wasn’t able to because alcohol controlled my life. I’m told regularly how calmer I am and how much easier it is for others to approach me. I’m grateful for every day and I try to do something nice for someone on a daily basis. I have a simple life now. I’m able to enjoy being with my family and friends and continue being sober while doing it; it’s a wonderful feeling.
I’m thankful to God for the amazing life He’s blessed me with and I’m forever indebted to Lakeview for showing me a better way to live, without the use of mind-altering substances.
Life is about living, and living it to the fullest. It’s available for each and every one of us, if we choose it. I’ve chosen this new way of life and hope those reading this will, too. Just remember: One Day At A Time!
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