After the episode where I blacked out and hit my head, I tried to get sober on my own, but it didn’t work. I didn’t go back to the bar, but every morning I would wake up craving a drink and would try to make it longer and longer through the day without drinking. I always caved after a few hours. Finally, I admitted to myself that if I genuinely wanted to get sober, I would have to go to rehab.
Using more of my inheritance money, I checked myself into a facility, where they made detoxing from alcohol as painless as possible. I had therapy every day, where I worked through the issues of my father abandoning my mom and me, my mother’s death, and the last few years of drinking and depression.
My therapist in rehab helped me realize that having a passion or a goal would help keep me occupied and that having a routine and something to be excited about would help the depression and keep the drinking at bay.
I decided I needed to start working again. The problem was, I wasn’t very motivated since I had enough money to get by without working easily. I had enjoyed my job at the fitness center but hated having a boss breathing over my shoulder. Plus, returning to my old position would feel like a step backward, and would probably remind me of the days when my mother was dying, since that’s where I was working at the time. I wanted to do something else.
“What is it you liked about working at the fitness center?” my therapist asked.
“Well, I guess I like health and wellness, and helping people reach their fitness goals,” I responded thoughtfully. “I also liked doing some of the marketing, and the customer service aspect. I was really good at that.”
“Can you think of another job you could do in the wellness sphere that would be more satisfying for you?”
I thought about it long and hard. I wanted to stick with wellness, and I also wanted to try to tie in the lessons I’d learned about drinking to help other people. I was drinking a smoothie in rehab when it came to me.
I would open a juice bar. I could make healthy, fresh juices and sell them from home, and to local businesses, to promote wellness. I could replace the alcohol I used to drink with juices that nourished and cleansed the body.
My therapist supported this idea and helped me research how to start the business. I left rehab with a business plan and a sense of purpose. I still craved alcohol but had this new goal and determination that was stronger than my desire to drink. I also was equipped with a better understanding of why I drank, which helped prevent me from doing it again. Also, the scar on my forehead reminded me every time I looked in the mirror of my old life, and how I didn’t want to go back to that.
It took about a year, but since leaving rehab, I had started a business called “The Berry Street Garage.”