Seattle Sober Coach: Through The Eyes of An Addict. One Client’s Journey to Sobriety.
The door slammed shut announcing my mother’s arrival home from work. I sat…no, cowered is a better word. I cowered in my room behind closed doors, “safe” in the place that had become less room and more hideout these past few months. Turning down “Def Leppard’s newest track, I strained to hear what my mother was doing. I was right. It didn’t take long before she was on the phone to my father.
“Um, honey…do you have the TV and VCR with you?” He must have said no. “Ok…well I thought you might have taken them for repair or something…” Her voice trailed off because she knew…she knew deep down exactly where the TV and VCR were. They were now residing at the corner pawn shop where I took them 7 hours ago. Where I sold them for cold cash…the cash that fueled my problem…my addiction. The crack cocaine rocks that I had bought with the pawn money were long gone…and I was already planning the next items that I would borrow tomorrow and pawn. I say “borrow” because I can’t bring myself to say “steal”…but that is exactly what I was doing…stealing from my family.
That was in the late 1980s, I remind myself as I change stations on the truck’s radio. The song was an 80’s rock tune, which dredged up old memories. Memories of a horrible time when I was not myself. A time when I was simply a living slave to a substance…nothing more. Those times were empty and painful, and I dislike remembering the things I did to loved ones, and myself. However, that was long ago, and I can proudly say that I have been clean and sober for decades now! So how did it happen, you may ask? How did I go from a full-fledged addict’s life to one of sobriety and stability? Read on my friend…read on.
So how did I get sober and stay sober? Well it wasn’t easy. I had to make the decision myself that it was time to change. Some call it the “hitting rock bottom” point, and I did. But I changed. I did it. I took the steps I needed to get help, and life is wonderful again. Before going further, let’s look at the basic clinical definition of “Addiction”:
Definition of Addiction
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by the inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
So there it is. The part that eventually hit home for me was the “is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.” Let me tell you…I craved drugs. Many drugs. Drugs by themselves, or cocktails. Didn’t matter. I just took them. Took them in ever-increasing amounts too. Chasing my first high, is what my therapist called it. And you can never, ever catch it. Ever. But I would’ve died trying, and almost did. I could give you list after list of things I stole, or people I cheated…or worse…during my time as an addict, but chances are, if you’re reading this you are looking for help. So you know your demons, and what you’ve done to fuel your addiction. We’ve walked the same path. I will say that the turning point came when I was given the chance to see my child, whom I had been prohibited from being around due to my addictions, for the first time in a few years. I had been doing “better” so as a reward, I was to meet her and her mother at the airport. I was so excited…but…on the way there I bought a bag of crack, and wasn’t heard from for three days. Three days. I was in some back alley crack house and nobody knew if I was alive or dead. But worse than that…I disappointed an 11-year-old child. I almost died during that binge, by the way. My heart raced like it was about to burst…like it always did…but then it began quivering. It seemed like it had begun misfiring…yet all I could think of was firing up the last piece of rock.
I woke up in a hospital room…alone and scared. My father walked in a few minutes after I woke up, and said nothing. The look on his face was enough. We talked a bit…and it was then that I made the decision that I had hit it…had hit rock bottom. Soon we were joined by my sister and a friend. The discussion was pointed in the direction of getting me some help for my addictions. The next steps we took were critical, and I can’t stress this enough…you must put yourself in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing! You must get professional help. So as we looked through the various help centers, plans, therapists, etc…I came upon a website called “The Addictions Coach” (www.theaddictionscoach.com). Now, it seemed to me that having a “coach” was worth looking into, so I began researching the website’s information…and it was the best decision of my life!
The whole operation is run by Cali Estes and her team of experts in the field of addictions therapy. We called and she immediately set up a meeting wherein she expertly diagnosed my issues, and then thrashed out a recovery plan that was tailor-made for me as an individual. Not some typical approach to recovery…I was provided a “sober companion” who stayed with me wherever I went. I was provided answers to every question I had about my road to sobriety. It was amazing and refreshing to work with Cali. It was as if I had simply taken off my old clothes, and put on a fresh, clean set of clothes.
Cali comes very highly recommended as well. She has been featured on CNBC, HBO, CBS Chicago, CBS Philly, the LA Times, MSN Money, and a host of others. The Addictions Coach is 100% confidential and has received “Best Treatment Center in Miami for a number of years. I highly encourage anyone looking to beat their addictions to contact Cali at the Addictions Coach. Cali will uncover your root cause or causes for your addiction, and prepare a competent and detailed recovery plan that fits your needs. It doesn’t matter what kind of addiction you may have, the Addictions Coach can get you into a life of sobriety.
Fast forward a few years. And now thanks to Cali, I hold a steady job, and am enjoying my life as it should be. Again, if you or someone you know has an addiction…contact the experts at The Addictions Coach. That call will change your life.
Robert J. Client and Tech Industry Mogul.