Re: Recovering from Choices Counseling Center
Date: March 12, 2009 11:07PM
I was a 12 1/2 year client at CCC and I left last August. I went through months of guilt and thinking that I would drink again (after 16 years sober) and that every decision I was making was wrong. They did a lot for me, but I really wish I had left years ago. The hardest part for me today is that many of my best friends express disapproval with how I am living my life, and I don't want to hear it, so they have stopped calling.
I used to wonder why all the "expatriots" hung out together, and now I know that they are the ones who can best understand the anger, sadness, and embarassment of spending a chunk of your life being controlled, put down, and told that if you leave your life will be over or at the very least suck.
I don't entirely blame them. I started at 20 and have always been a bit of a follower and push over. There is tremendous satisfaction today knowing that any decision I make today, good, bad, indifferent, is mine. There is no one else to blame and no one to make me feel ashamed of my mistakes. I have fallen in love with a guy who is honest and loving and reminds me not to take the last 12 years out on him - that I can listen to him every now and then and not just rebel for the sake of making up for lost time. We live together and talk about marriage and kids.
One of the last things I was told in group by Maureen was that I hadn't made any progress in 12 years, had nothing to bring to a relationship, and that no one in their right mind would ever want to date me. I had just ended a 6 year relationship with a fellow client because I felt crazy and unloved whenever I was around him. That night I thought about suicide for the first time since getting sober. It terrified me, but not as much because of the thought but because I had allowed myself to be treated like that for 12 years and her opinion mattered that much to me.
I'm not happy everyday, but who is? What I do know is that I'm regularly so much happier than I was living in that community. I am still sober. I have lost a lot of friends, but the ones I have now are loving and kind, and don't feel the compulsion to put me down and assess my progress. It was frighteningly like an abusive marriage, and I feel lucky and grateful to be out of it.