By: Tim Myers
Get Them to Rehab Now!
You think you’re doing a good thing, a great thing, but you’re not. When your sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, cousin, friend, or co-worker decides they need help – you need to get them to rehab right now!
Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Years, or Flag Day. I’m the oldest of six kids, so I know just how sad I’d be if a family member wasn’t present for the holidays. I also know how destructive it can be to remain drinking and drugging over the holidays.
I stayed home for Christmas one year and decided to go to rehab on December 27th. Then, years later, I went back to rehab and stayed there on Christmas. I’ve seen this deadly game from both sides.
An Addict Home for the Holidays
It seemed like a good idea to wait until December 27th to check myself into rehab. I thought to myself, “Hey, I’ll have like thirty days sober when I get there, so I’ll be ahead of the game and well on my way to sobriety!”
That was the great Christmas lie I told my family and myself. Then, two days into my stay at home, my mother said to me, ”I just hope you’re not using this time to get drunk for thirty more days before you have to stop.” After she said that, I thought to myself, “Oh crap, I have to be sober for the rest of my life…I need to get in every second of drinking that I can!”
I find it hard to believe I hadn’t thought of that before she said it, but for some reason I didn’t! I was so focused on putting on the right show and playing the fake game of “who am I? I’m okay” that I believed my own lie.
That night I got drunk. I continued to use drugs, drink, and steal from my parents everyday until the 27th.
This put the idea into my head that no matter what I did, my family needed me for the holidays. That no matter what facility I was in, as long as it wasn’t jail, I’d be shuttled home for Christmas. On December 6th, 2010, I found out this was not the case.
[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]
Christmas in Rehab
After a near fatal car accident, I ended up in rehab for the ninth, and all signs point to final, time.
My family informed me that I would be staying in rehab in Florida for Christmas. I was shocked. How were they going to do this to me? How could they enjoy the holidays without me? How would I get through the holidays without them?
It turned out their Christmas was pretty good. They didn’t, for the first time in a decade, have to worry about me. They knew where I was and they knew I was safe. They all slept very well that Christmas. Nothing was stirring not even a mouse.
I, on the other hand, experienced the sorrow and loneliness that ended up being the greatest Christmas gift I ever received.
I woke up on Christmas day and rode my bike to the Shell gas station to get a Coke and some cigarettes. I rode back to the rehab and it seemed like the world had stood still. Everything was so incredibly quiet.
Christmas day was normally filled with games of Catch Phrase, ice-skating, and plain old fun. Today was just sad. I got back to rehab and the tech there had me sit down in my room and open all the Christmas cards my family had sent. I had to open them in front of him so he could make sure they didn’t contain drugs or money.
I opened probably thirty cards that day from every aunt, uncle, brother, and sister I had. As I got into the middle of the pile, I started crying. The tech, known as Big Mike said, “Tim, you know what I see here? I see a big cheering section. You shouldn’t be sad. You should be happy, look at all these people cheering for you! This is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received, Tim.”
Big Mike was right. Going to rehab over the holidays was the right thing to do. It changed my path. It showed me what a great support system I have. It gave a greater appreciation for Christmas.
So please don’t wait. If you can go to rehab now, do it. Yes, you’ll miss this Christmas with your family, but…you’ll never miss another one again.