Peter HayesWe Do Recover

The best thing about being clean and sober is to wake up each day knowing where I am and being able to be present in everyone’s life around me.

From an early age, I was in search of a means to be comfortable in my own skin. My first encounter with alcohol made me confident and able to speak freely. Even though I became sick from the alcohol, I could not wait to do it again. I drank every day in high school. From then on, the older I got, the more I drank.

In the throes of addiction, all I could think about is when, where and how I would drink that day. The blackouts were terrifying, and I would often wake up in a fog, panicking. All I wanted to do is check to see if I was home and if my car made it back without any dents. My family was so concerned for my health that they were unable to find positivity in any area of their lives. They worried I would kill myself in an accident, and my wife eventually asked me to leave.

In active addiction, it was very hard to take an honest look at myself. Denial was my best friend. I constantly thought “I’m not that bad.” After I became sober, I started to realize how unmanageable my old life was.

Be willing to accept that you have a disease and it is treatable. With help, life can get better.

I became sober after being asked to leave my home of 32 years. Looking at my options for alcohol rehab, Florida was the best fit. I made one phone call to Ambrosia and was immediately on a plane. I was lucky to have an amazing therapist when I got there. She was my saving grace. She saw through my nonsense and called me out when I needed it most. We attended 12-step meetings every day. Speaking at meetings was extremely uncomfortable at first, but before long I found myself looking forward to it.

Before getting sober, I always thought quitting was for losers. Now I know it takes a winner to give up the fight.

Recovery is very special. For me, it is like winning the Super Bowl or World Series. My accomplishments prove to me that it works. I have spoken in front of rooms filled with people, and I did it sober. I have gone to weddings in recovery, and I play golf without having to drink during and after every round. I continue to own my own business, and my wife and children no longer worry about me coming home.

There is a real calm in my life now.

My future is uncertain, but I like it that way. My wife and I are planning to retire and just enjoy our lives together. Travel and watching our grandchildren grow up is just fine with me!

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