Austin Gave Himself and His Loved Ones the Gift of Recovery
I can remember when I had that willingness to accept addiction treatment on my own I wouldn’t realize that I would be in treatment during the holidays. At the time of my arrival it didn’t matter anyways, to my family or myself, the length of my stay and what I would miss while being in treatment. My family and I came to the conclusion that my sobriety was more important than the holidays I would potentially be missing. I had ruined too many other holidays and other family functions because of my drug and alcohol problem. One holiday season wouldn’t matter and I knew that they would be with me in spirit.
As the Thanksgiving holiday came up, I could remember myself trying to come up with every excuse why I needed to be home for Thanksgiving and not at treatment. I didn’t realize at the time that, had I gone home for Thanksgiving, I really don’t think I would have returned to treatment and I possibly would have relapsed. I continued to talk with my parents and therapist as Thanksgiving approached and we all came to the conclusion that I would remain in treatment through the Thanksgiving holiday since it would be the safest place for me to be. The day came up and it was difficult at first but I felt I had begun to develop a relationship with my community and knew we would all be having the same feelings of missing our loved ones. Our community came together and we ended up having a great day with great food. I know my family would have loved for me to spend Thanksgiving with them. But again, they also knew I had a life or death situation and took it very seriously, accepting that the best place for me was at treatment.
I got through the holidays and left Stepping Stone a changed person and ready to embrace what the world had to offer. I understand that family is important. I can tell you that I would do anything for my family but for that one moment in time sobriety was the most important thing. I didn’t want to take any chances on something fatally happening to me and then possibly miss many more holidays with my family. Because of my decision to go through and stay in treatment during a holiday, I can proudly tell you I spent my second Thanksgiving with my family. I have been sober and had a blast with my family that I would have never experienced being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
I thank Lakeview staff and Stepping Stone staff for making it possible for me to be a family man once again. Today I work as a BHA at Lakeview Health. This year I will have the opportunity of working Christmas at Lakeview and giving hope and experience to the clients here during the holidays.