And the truth as to whether it leads to sobriety

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Photo by Josue Escoto on Unsplash

I had a dream last night that my mom decided to check herself into rehab for her alcohol addiction. She’s been sober for three years now, and it’s been four years since she was last in rehabilitation, but I felt that same rush of emotions I felt that last time. Nothing came over me more than relief.

I will answer the internet’s top asked questions about the necessity of rehabilitation centers and will give a short guide to what it can do for your loved one.

Is rehabilitation necessary for you and your family?

If you are asking this question, the short answer is yes. If your family is anything like mine, you probably found yourself fighting a losing battle against addiction, searching for help but to no avail. There are professionals trained and readily available to be that light in the darkness you are seeking out. …

And how it shapes every decision I make

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Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

Four years ago, I proposed to my best friend and girlfriend of six years. It was the biggest life-move I made by that point. All of our closest friends and family members were waiting for us at a surprise engagement party. It was one of the happiest days of my life… and my mom missed it.

At that point, she was losing her battle with addiction so bad that we only gave year a couple of years left to live. She was at the end of about five years in which she drank copious amounts of alcohol morning to night every day. …

Absolving them only worsens the situation

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

“One of the things you learn in rehab is that you are responsible for your own actions” — Dale Archer

Recently, I was talking to someone whose father cheated on their mother many years ago. They still have a terrible relationship with one another, and he doesn’t think they will ever resolve their issues. That’s fine.

Because my mom flirted with death on multiple occasions, I refuse to hold grudges. Life is too short for that. When he asked how I would approach his situation, I told him that I would try to make amends as best as possible. We ended up agreeing to disagree before a third person jumped into our conversation. Knowing about my mom’s addiction, he told me that the two situations are not comparable because addiction is a disease. He added that I had to forgive my mom because she couldn’t help. As a result, her actions weren’t her fault whereas it is a person’s choice to cheat on their significant other. …

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

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Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash

You never know when the first day of sobriety will begin. If your family is anything like mine, there were many days when you thought your loved one conquered their addiction only to fall immediately back into the cycle.

My mom’s first day post-alcoholism didn’t start any of the times she went to rehab, it didn’t start when we all moved out and left her alone, and it didn’t begin after any of her arrests. In our case and many others, it happened unceremoniously. A string of sober days in a row led to a month of no drinking. Eventually, it led to two months, six months, and finally, one year. Each day comes with worry and none of us see that subsiding. …

Use them to move on towards a brighter future

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Photo by Giulia Pugliese on Unsplash

We all bear scars that signify unpleasant moments of our past. Some are visible, while others, not so much. When we first got them, we were shocked and sent through significant pain. Every day after, we hid them because we were ashamed of the truth.

It could be months or even years after the scars first formed, and we’re still hiding them. Whether self-inflicted or caused by another, it’s time to embrace these painful memories.

The Revelation that Leads to Healing

“My wounds are my friends. How can I heal the wounds if I don’t welcome them.” — Fr. Greg Boyle (telling Jose’s Story)

Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit Priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries, an organization that rehabilitates former gang members in Los Angeles and employs them in various capacities. His business has been so successful that it opened up public speaking events for Boyle and his “homies” (his nickname for his rehabilitated gang members) all over the country. These homies come from the worst backgrounds to tell stories of triumph that inspire younger audience members enduring similar hardships to find a different path than crime and gangs. …

And our memories aren’t all bad

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Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

When people hear that you grew up in a family where a parent or sibling was an addict, they immediately feel pity. You could see their minds wander to the worst thoughts imaginable and their entire demeanor would change. For me and my family, my mom was the addict.

Regardless of how it came up or was discovered, the conversation about her addiction was always the same regardless of who the person was.

“I’m so sorry,” they would always start by saying. I would respond by simply thanking them.

“It must’ve been so hard for you all,” they would follow up. This question always got me thinking. I wanted to go into the complexities of addiction, our good days and our bad, our tough decisions, and some moments that gave us glimmers of hope. I never did. Instead, I always responded by saying, “We did our best.” …

4 important lessons painfully learned as a result

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Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

It was August 1, 2015. The sun was scorching hot. I remember it beating down on me as I sat on the front stairs of my house with my sisters because we were too anxious to care. The three of us were waiting for my dad’s maroon Cadillac to pull into the driveway indicating that he successfully “rescued” my mom from the mental health facility she was forced into.

My heart pounded when his car turned the corner and I saw my mom’s face bursting with happiness through the front windshield. I’ll never forget the feeling when we hugged. …

You may be comfortable now, but it won’t last forever

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Photo by Hello I'm Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

We all hit a wall at some point in our lives. You’ve been headed down a smooth straight path without a bump in the road. Everything was clicking for awhile… until you got bored. You hit your limit on that road and don’t feel the same fulfillment anymore. You want a new road, with some bumps and challenges to get through. Hell, you may even want to be driving a new car down that path.

Unfortunately, you’re stuck in an uncomfortable position with two choices. You can stay on the same boring path where the outcomes are predictable and you’re comfortable. You know who you are going to be and where you will end up. The other option is scary because it comes with more uncertainty than you’ve experienced in a long while. You’ll be blazing a new path with challenges you’ve never experienced before and you don’t know where you will end up. …

8 Steps that helped me grow my account to over 10,000 followers and why that matters

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Your time is valuable so there’s no fluff in this piece. Below is step by step instructions that immediately grew my Instagram account. It led to additional sales on my books and a base of readers to start with on Medium when I first started writing on the platform.

With a strong Instagram following, you can grow email subscribers, have a base to test out new creative pursuits, sell more of your product, and promote yourself. You’ll have the ability to diversify your income and make connections that could lead to important collaborations. The number of followers you have on your account equates to the number of people you can immediately reach. …

It’s one of the easiest ways to immediately improve your life

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Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

The object of walking is to relax the mind. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far… and habit will soon reconcile it to health, and render it nearly as useful as if you gave to that the more precious hours of the day. — Thomas Jefferson

Life easily got in the way of exercise. For me, I would workout sporadically and sometimes went months “taking a break.” It took as little as a single raindrop to convince myself to skip going to the gym. I quickly went from a multi-sport athlete to someone that dreaded the long walk up the stairs carrying a basket of laundry. Weight was much easier to put on than ever before, especially during the winter months. I would go to work, come home, write, snack, relax, and restart the routine the next day. Between negative eating habits and not giving myself time to exercise, my health and wellness took a negative turn. …


A. T. Micalizzi

Author. Poet. Teacher. Mental Health Advocate. My life experiences shape my writing. Check out all of my work ➡

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