Drug & Alcohol AwarenessPrint Page
Addiction is a complex brain disease characterized by compulsive and at times, uncontrollable craving. It can be debilitating and affects all aspects of someone’s life, including personal and professional relationships, work, ability to function, and more. Chances are, we all know someone who’s experienced addiction, but it can be overcome. Read on to learn more about one of our very own TeleTech employees who, with the help of our Employee Assistance Program, was able to address their addiction and hopes to help others by sharing his/her story.
Do you remember your first drink? How old were you and how did you start drinking?
I was always very shy in high school. When I left for college I was faced with many new things at school. I started drinking when I was 20, which is late for someone to start drinking, as most alcoholics or addicts start when they are much younger. I saw many of my college friends that were drinking having issues in school especially with their grades. My friends that were doing marijuana were not having any problems in school. They were doing extremely well. So, I switched and found that the marijuana brought me out of my shell. So, drinking and smoking was something that became very common for me.
Can you tell us what happened with your drinking after that (ie; next drink, age, where, etc)
Before my senior year of college I found myself in a rut and moved to San Diego. I had a very successful job and was making lots of money. I found myself mixing both alcohol and marijuana. I had very successful friends that were doing the same thing. Working hard and playing hard. After spending 3 years out there I decided I wanted to finish my degree and I moved back home to finish college. Right before my senior year, I was pulled over by the cops. Before I left for San Diego I didn’t take care of my speeding tickets. They took my original license away from me. This situation ended up saving my last year in college. NO drinking and smoking. I had the best year ever at school, I even made the Dean’s list. But, life has been a roller coaster for me. I would go through periods of no drinking and drugs but then I would increase it. But, drinking was my main way to cope.
Were you aware at the time your behavior might have indicated you had a problem?
After graduation, a job at a TV station came up but I noticed at the bottom you had to take a urinalysis. That was a wake- up call. I stopped the smoking but the drinking increased.
I have attended AA and NA meetings. The meetings were great, I enjoyed the NA meetings more. But, many who attended were very successful people. Just like myself at that time.
Another time was just recently. I was scared I was going to lose my job at TeleTech because I felt I was out of control. I was drinking more and more.
What age and situation was your drinking obviously increasing?
When I started at TeleTech I was in my 40’s. I was still riding the roller coaster. Depression was at its worst. I could not stop, I needed to slow down. I felt completely out of control. I didn’t want to lose my job and I was heading in that direction. I met with my Wellness Navigator at TeleTech. I needed help. They put me in touch with the EAP program. I spent some time on the phone with them that day. I found when I got back into things I loved and that has helped me. I started singing again at church. Singing is a passion of mine. Giving back to the community, feel good things. That is an all-around good feeling when I can give back. I am also around friends that are in good places.
Did anyone mention you might be drinking too much?
My mom was my rock. She was always worried about me. She would tell me how worried she was. I came from a single parent home and the alcohol and drugs were not around. When my mom passed away and my best friend moved overseas again I was faced with a bad situation. I fell into deep depression not having my mom and my best friend around. I needed and missed that support.
Do you have any theories as to why your drinking was progressing?
It was part of my life. It brought me out of my shell, it was my crutch. It relieved stress.
Did you hide any of your drinking?
Especially when it came to my mom, I lied to myself and I was selfish.
Did you have drinking buddies and hangouts?
Yes. I was around successful people all the time that worked hard but played hard. When I watched football with my friends we drank. But, I knew I needed to break away from the trigger points. Plus, I had girlfriends that all drank.
Was your family concerned?
Yes. One thing that still eats at my soul is that I was not honest with my mom, I lied and I was selfish. Addicts are selfish. That is the common thing with addicts and alcoholics, we are all selfish. If you can break away from the triggers that will help you. What does that mean… when you watch football with your friends that only drink when they watch football? Break away from the triggers. I do not watch football with my friends anymore. Another trigger in the summer when it was hot and I had nothing to do, I would drink. But, this past summer I made sure I played tennis in the morning, went jogging, took hikes. It was awesome.
Were you getting concerned?
Yes. This year, I felt completely out of control and I went to my Wellness Navigator. I feel I am in a better place. Staying active has helped me so much. If you lose important people in your life, find someone. You need that person to open up too. I ended a relationship with someone that I really liked because she was an alcoholic. I needed to get out of that situation. I realized that I may have to give up friends and lovers. They are in the party life.
I feel that I am in a good place now. I am honest with myself. I am not selfish. Getting back into things I love. It is a struggle every day. But, if you can be honest with yourself, break away from triggers you will be in a happier place.
There are many resources to help you, or someone you know, if you’re struggling with addiction…..
|Guidance Resources (TeleTech’s EAP) – 1.866.379.0898
Drug Treatment Centers Near You – 1.800-662-HELP (4357)