My name is Kris and I am an alcoholic.
I started drinking on a daily basis 22 years ago. At the time, I used alcohol as a crutch to get over a difficult event in my life. What that event was is not important. What IS important is that I continued to drink even after that difficult event passed and was no longer a negative factor in my life.
In February of this year, I made the most difficult phone call of my life: I called my parents and told them that I was an alcoholic. This wasn’t a total surprise to them. They had suspected for a long time that I drank too much, but nobody except myself knew just how much I was drinking.
I then called my employee assistance program manager at work (absenteeism would eventually cost me my job) and he was able to put me in touch with a counselor who could evaluate my situation and plot a way forward for me to begin recovery.
My sister (thank you, Sue!)—who has been my rock throughout my journey to recovery so far—sat with me as I, for the very first time in my life, answered truthfully about the extent of my alcoholism. My counselor told me I had two options: enter detox at a local facility, or enter into rehab for a month. She felt that detox alone would not help me much; I agreed and without hesitation agreed to enter into rehab at St. Joseph Institute for Addiction in Pennsylvania.
Two days later, on a cold, blustery Buffalo morning, I was picked up by St. Joseph Institute. I’ll admit I was scared. I had never been into rehab before, and I had no clue as to what to expect.
The next 30 days would come to be the most important 30 days of my life.
I had never heard of St. Joseph Institute. Upon learning that was where I was going, I visited the website—I never thought that a rehab institute could look so beautiful and welcoming!
I truly believe that my time at St. Joseph Institute has saved my life. I can’t think of enough people to thank—everyone from my driver (Rodney) to the executive staff (Cindi and Kelli) to my counselor (Emily, as well as Valerie) to the entire RA, nursing, kitchen, and grounds staff. I never envisioned having so much support in my entire life!
A loud shout out to some lifelong friends that I made there as well—Lauren, Matt, and Skip! I love you guys!
St. Joseph Institute equipped me with a toolbox to use once I entered recovery after rehab. The cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions as well as one-on-one and small group counseling sessions have been immensely helpful to me. In addition, the nightly AA and NA meetings got me used to accepting those meetings as a meaningful, important part of my routine during recovery.
I have been in recovery since March 2nd, 2019. I attend individual and group counseling weekly. AA meetings have helped as well!
St. Joseph Institute for Addiction—the people who all work there—have saved my life. If you let them, they can save yours as well!