this at 2 in the morning.
Anyway, I mentioned briefly in the last entry about my foray into an outpatient experience I had back in the summer of 2006 to address my alcohol dependency. I’ll expand on that for this post but a little more background into my state of mind (or lack thereof) at that time is needed here to put it into better context.
In February of that year, I got fired from a position as an outside sales rep for Labor Ready, an industrial day labor personnel agency. The people I worked for were great, I was well like and considered one of the best outside reps they had. The problem was that I was in a small market, Portland, ME and the viable prospects for our services were limited(we offered a unique niche so most clients came to us). I had already
landed the few construction companies that we hadn’t signed on and there really isn’t much more industrial business in the area to speak of. So the bottom line was that although I was extremely dedicated and hardworking, I simply didn’t have enough prospects to call on. So after 2 years, I got bored and started
tipping the bottle during work hours….and got caught……I was warned once and when I did it again, they had no choice but to let me go.
So I had really stepped in it this time!!! The job market was already tight and now I had the problem of not really being able to use my last job as a reference….I was basically screwed and at a loss as to what to do. Needless to say, things at home with my wife were not pretty at all. I went back to AA to appease her but hated it and it depressed me no end. I spent hours on-line and at the local job center trying to find work. I was trying hard but nothing was happening and I was getting desperate. With the added stress and desperation, the drinking got worse and culminated in a lame suicide attempt. I really wasn’t that serious otherwise I would have succeeded but it was the final straw that time. My wife and my brother did a “family”
intervention and decided that I should go down to NY and stay with family for a while and straighten myself out. There was no timetable for my return other than “let’s see”.
Needless to say, my depression deepened and I again was at a loss as to how to address it. I started to go to meetings on Long Island but I KNEW it would make no difference, it wasn’t the answer for me. So I checked myself into an 8-4PM Mon-Fri outpatient program at the local hospital. On my 2nd day there I met with the unit psychiatrist and he determined that I was definitely dual diagnosis with alcoholism/depression and
after a 5 minute evaluation he put me on Zoloft. They were also able to “determine” in about 5 seconds that I would probably need to participate in this program for at least a year or more. SAY WHAT? There were about 20 people with all varieties of diagnoses in this place and they had all been there a LONG time. I felt like Jack Nicholson in “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”
The program consisted of counselor led group sessions on such topics as “feelings”, etc…Other than that, they had “art therapy” “ear acupuncture” and a few other useless “therapies”.
I had a personal counselor with whom I met for 45 minutes a week (she was just a licensed counselor not a doctor). She thought that I was a nice guy and that I would snap out of it given “enough time”. I swear all of these places are about spending endless time in their “programs”. None of them have EXIT plans. They get money from the state and from the insurance companies and the more the merrier. Add to this whole clusterfuck that I was still trying to make AA work for the sake of my wife and kids because they still believed that is was the only “proven” way;….. to say that I was shell-shocked would be an understatement.
So I flushed the Zoloft that was making feel beyond weird down the john and got the Hell out that place before they somehow had me committed. Thank God I went in voluntarily otherwise I’d probably
still be there!!!! I managed to beg my way back up to my home, started doing some temp work and finally got hired by one of the companies that I was assigned to. Unfortunately, none of my underlying issues were ever addressed so I just kept on going…existing…as a barely functioning alcohol dependent creature.
I tried them all, In-patient 30 day 12-step, outpatient hospital, AA, shrinks,…you name it.
What finally worked? Read the book :-)