Friday, April 10, 2009

Surrender Part 2: Alcohol..The Accepted Addiction

Depending on what statistics you look at , up to 30% of our population at any given time are alcoholics, addicted to alcohol in one way or another.

Now, this might be the person who drinks only on New Years Eve, yet once they begin they don't want to stop.

Or it could be the one who simply celebrates weddings and birthdays with drinks, that could never stop at just one.

And, it could be the person who has just wine with dinner, every dinner, and the thought of not being able to enjoy those drinks makes them irritable.

It could be your husband or wife, who seem to handle their alcohol quite well, although you have no idea that they're actually sneaking drinks when you're not around...or making sure their wine glass is always topped off, so that it doesn't look like they're really drinking alot.

I fall into many categories when it comes to being an alcoholic, thankfully and gratefully in recovery, and got away with it for years because it is such an acceptable addiction.

We rationalize drinks when we're stressed, tired, excited, elated, bored, mad, discouraged, happy....when it's Friday, Saturday, Sunday with the game, Monday , Tuesdays, "Hump day"...just to get through the week.

I think you get the picture.

Alcohol is available everywhere, and for anyone in business, it is the acceptable way to say" hi, goodbye, great to get the contract, I can't believe we didn't get the contract, let's brainstorm about business ideas"....and about 1 million other excuses to have that drink.

I was blessed several years ago, after over 30 years of being an addict and alcoholic myself, when a woman I was dating sat me down and told me her story of addiction, alcoholism,and recovery.

She finally told me after several months of dating, not because she wanted me to change, but she felt that if I heard it from someone else, I might leave her.

Wow, and do you know that her story moved me so, so deeply, that I finally surrendered.

Two days later, I admitted I had had a problem for years and years, and called the facility she went to and checked myself in over the phone.

Thirty days later, she drove me to the Hanley Center for Addiction and Alcoholism in West Palm Beach , Florida, and began my true surrender by walking through the doors for my 30 day stay.

Without a doubt, one of the most amazing moves that I have ever done in my entire life.

Pure fear coursed through my body as she left me in the detox wing. Tears of anxiety, loss, and wanting so badly to have her stay, so as I left one of my best friends I had had since 16, alcohol, at least she would be there.

That of course was against the rules, so I had to surrender all that I knew about feeling safe too.

I know that the full surrender to a higher power is the only proven way to sobriety.

Sobriety to any addiction, money, power, spending, nicotine, sex, negative thinking, low self worth, drugs, alcohol, only truly possible through the path of surrender.

I had tried so many other paths, therapies, drugs to reduce cravings...and not one brought the full relief that surrender, part of all 12 Step programs, did.

If you're one of the millions who struggle with alcohol, make today the day you let go, trust God, find help.

I will forever be grateful to the woman who opened my eyes through her story, a story that changed my life forever.

Now, in my coaching practice, I am getting the chance to help hundreds of kids and adults get clean from alcohol and drug abuse.

The accepted addictions, aren't acceptable anymore.

Slow down.

Love, peace, David Essel

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