Must it take an extraordinary circumstance to change your course?

BY JACOB OKETCH

The story of Edmond is one that must be told in order to demonstrate the power of transformation that is open to humanity and only needs tapping.

Edmond has been hooked to the drink for the past twenty years and it reached a point where he either had to change or perish altogether. Hitting rock bottom is a very personal affair and there is no set criterion for reaching one. For him, the fact that he had lost all a job, savings and friends was a sure manifestation of his complete powerlessness.

He lost all the investment that he had painstakingly made over the years from his earnings as a modest writer. He sold all his shares and emptied his bank account by engaging in a series of drinking sprees with all sorts of women and men friends across the country. Earlier, he had lost his writing job, which, as usual, is very strict with timelines, which Eddy could not cope with in his drinking days.

He had also lost quite a number of friends who could not entertain his behavior whenever he was drunk. This web was also extended to the family where influential cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews had written him off. There were very few friends and relatives who still gave him the benefit of doubt. In this scenario, Edmond was a very lonely person who could rely on the assurance of almost no one that he could pick up his life and run away with it.

Edmond had lost his immediate family. His wife could not withstand constant battering and left with their two boys. He had a huge house all to himself and the misery that accompanies loneliness. Above all, his dignity was at its lowest. People who used to respect him had lost faith in him and could not be seen even talking to him. He was shunned in social places and was the subject of gossip among his peers in his profession.Dont forget that he was a big shot at his place of work before alcohol stole him away to the dungeons of life.

Thank God, Edmond’s family were getting alarmed by his slide and decided to do something about it. He was to be taken for treatment for alcoholism and they chose one in an up market location. The trouble is how to convince him that confinement and treatment was the best thing for him. This is an important element of an alcoholic’s recovery. Never trick a patient to the facility. Resentment is built this way. That person will not appreciate the benefit of the process and thus will from day one set out to sabotage their own recovery. It did not have to be that way for Edmond. He easily agreed to the proposal and cooperated to be booked in.

Edmond’s stay at the rehabilitation centre was a boon of sorts. He had been working hard to perfect his writing skills and use them to earn a comfortable living after losing his desk job. He is a brilliant writer, no doubt. But the deluding atmosphere of his alcoholic days could not allow him to actualize his writing skills to his benefit. With the distraction that comes with alcohol, the self-will quality that is most important in a writing career is next to impossible. You are not supposed to miss deadlines besides the rereading and writing of your work. That kind of rigor is not manageable by an acute drinker. So Edmond’s writing remained just that. He could not manage to crack through the journalistic network and sell his writing to the highest bidder. This was actually the genesis of his rapid slide into despondency, frustration and depression that eventually landed him here at the centre.

The most powerful aspect of an alcoholic’s recovery is not so much his recovery per se, but the transformation that comes with that recovery. There are certain monumental changes that a patient undergoes and they alter the destiny of that person going forward.Edmond’s admission to a treatment centre were the onset of a series of transformations. When he went in, he resuscitated a regime that he had abandoned earlier. He used to intensively jog but abandoned the practice when the drink came calling. He started jogging intensely at the centre and has maintained it even after being discharged.

One of the biggest issues in a recovering patient’s life is how to handle post discharge life. There is a lot of anxiety when one is just about to be discharged. Many a people wonder what life would be out there. Others are scared of all manners of triggers and how they will overcome them. Even Edmond had all these worries. However, he chose to use the circumstances surrounding his treatment to orchestrate a turnaround. He has embarked on a project to write as much about his recovery as he can.

He has been writing a series of articles concerning alcoholism and recovery. While at the centre, he used to write a journal, a kind of diary which he meticulously kept in his three month stint at the centre. During his treatment, his counselor asked him to write letters to his close departed relatives. This was necessary for him to release the energy of pain and anguish that had been occasioned by their demise. It also occurred to him that he may have needed to make amends to these people in one way or another.

Edmond has decided to consolidate all these writings into a book and he is already negotiating a publishing deal with a top publisher in town. He decided to use the predicament around his life to recreate a part of him that would surely have disappeared forever. From the look of things, his writings seem to be taking him to the greater heights he has always aspired to go to. Had he not gone for treatment, his story would be a totally different one. Sometimes; it takes an extraordinary circumstance to change one’s course of life. That circumstance may be one that takes hard thinking and a lot of sacrifice to correctly interpret. This transformation can happen to anyone who is committed to adhering to the spiritual principles that make recovery from alcoholism possible.  

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