“Well here’s my story about addiction. I am a recovering alcoholic. I started drinking when I was 14 years old. I was raised around alcohol use and I thought it was the cool thing to do. I drank my way through high school, college, and life basically. I had a career in retail working with a tight group of friends that all drank so no one ever questioned me smelling like booze, only sometimes at work or when I started having physical DTs from not drinking. Y’all who have been there know about the struggle to balance your three jobs: family, work, and booze/drugs. Eventually, all my friends moved onto other jobs and I was left with people I barely knew as co-workers…
They began to ask questions about the shaking, sweating, work performance, and call ins. On March 19, 2013, after 13 years, I was fired for something that was unrelated to my drinking, but I know in my heart they had enough of me showing up to work hungover or sometimes still drunk. I then checked into a local facility for rehab, which basically just turned out to be a 7 day detox with no treatment at all. So I got out sober and positive, but I had to find a job. The job search went on for 3 months and I had sold almost everything I could just to keep afloat. Oh yeah and I quit going to AA and started drinking again. I finally secured a job, but continued to drink.
In August of 2013, I began to have severe physical effects from drinking. By this time I was drinking almost a half-gallon of vodka a night. My boss offered to put me on FMLA due to my medical problems. I sobered up for a time, but then relapsed. This landed me in the hospital with jaundice, hepatitis, slight kidney failure, and ammonia poisoning. I spent 6 days in the hospital and swore I would never pick up again. Well, that didn’t happen. I was put on FMLA another 3 times and hospitalized 5 times over the next 2 years. My bloodwork came back with a .454 blood alcohol level on the last visit and the doctor seemed confused that I was alive.
I had my doctor tell me that if I didn’t stop drinking I would never see my 40th birthday. You know it’s bad when the nurses remember you and they knew me quite well. Well on my way back from the last hospital visit I stopped by the liquor store and guess what I did? Yup, tore down a bottle of vodka. I woke up the next day with severe pain in my kidneys and liver. This is when I decided to just say “this has to end.” I picked up the phone and called my father and told him I was going to die if we didn’t do anything. This was October 12, 2015, so I’m still drinking at this time. So I’m looking for a rehab facility in South Carolina where a family member had gone to that really worked. Somehow, my google search pulled up Transformations. I called Transformations and arranged everything.
My sobriety date is October 15, 2015. On October 17, 2015, I was on a plane to Fort Lauderdale, FL. I showed up to Summit Detox barely able to walk. I actually don’t think I had eaten in a week at this point. I detoxed in 2 days then I went to Transformations. I went to the Transformations building and got checked in. I did the Christian track program. Everyone there was awesome! Mike was my van driver to the office and that guy is awesome too! I got checked in and taken to the condo location. My condo was nice and actually better than what I was living in at home. My roommate was a cool guy and we got along very well. I still talk to the guy every once and awhile.
The holistic medicine treatment through Transformations was awesome. Dr. Sands rocks and so does his back-cracking skills! I feel my therapist really wanted to find the root of my problem and give me some insight on how to correct problems. Every day we started off with Bible study and a short worship service. The classes I took gave me direction in how to handle addiction and how to prevent relapse. I really enjoyed the whole environment of the Transformations facility.
The activities on the weekends kept me busy. There are also daily activities like AA, NA, Drum Circle, and Sex and Love Addiction meetings. The nursing staff was also amazing. Stephanie was like my mom while I was there. I worked with the nutritionist while I was there because I had so much damage to my body. I learned how to eat healthy since then, and I’ve never felt better.
Transformations also arranged for me to see a Gastroenterologist, Dr. Millgram. He ran every test he could on me to make sure I was gonna make it. Well, obviously I did. I’ve come to feel like Transformations is part of my family, both staff and the fellow members I was with. Without them I would have never made it and I wouldn’t be as strong and healthy as I am now. My sponsor in Florida is still a great contact if I ever feel the need to drink and we talk about once a week.
So…now life has resumed. I lived with my mom after outpatient treatment. Today I have a job, which I love. I’ve gotten an apartment back home. I have a local AA sponsor, which I actually just got. I’ve worked all the steps and I am happy to say that on October 16th, 2016, I hit my one year. I feel like I’ve gotten my life back.
To fellow addicts wondering about Transformations, they will save your life, just as they saved mine. Without them I probably wouldn’t be alive. They will give you the knowledge you need to know how to stay sober and clean. Sobering up is one thing, but understanding and being taught about how to handle addiction is what Transformations will teach you. If you are having a problem, call them. Plus, you’ll be 10 minutes away from the beach once you get out!”