From Alcoholic to a New Life

Rick J.

There are many barriers to getting treatment for alcoholism. Fear of the unknown is a prime one. How am I going to feel, what will it be like, and can I be successful are questions I asked myself when I arrived at Narconon New Life Retreat. I continually had to remind myself I needed treatment.

I had previously been unsuccessful in dealing with my alcohol addiction and wasn’t sure why my past attempt at recovery had failed. I started my program at Narconon New Life Retreat by revisiting my life up until that moment in time. I shared my successes and strengths as well as my failures and shortcomings. Over the course of the life skills courses, I came to realize my alcoholism was a band-aid for past regrets and mistakes made. My poor decision-making came from my inability to believe in myself and my abilities. The many misfortunes I felt I had endured—some big, some small, and some non-existent—were tucked away in a mind clouded by booze. I was able to face these problems and gain release from my feelings of inadequacy, which had been tied to my alcoholism. I then focused on interests and goals that, prior to drinking, had energized me and how to pursue them going forward.

I spent the next portion of my program focusing on being more aware of my surroundings and my interaction with those around me. Before my alcoholism, I considered myself a good communicator, and during the program, I was able to strengthen my ability to communicate my needs and wants in a productive and successful manner. I completely revamped my decision-making process and how I dealt with obstacles, quickly learning that everything I do in life has an end result. Every step I take leads me somewhere. If I am facing in the right direction, all I need to do is keep walking.

This was my second attempt at recovery, and I felt my program was specifically designed for me. The sauna portion of my program allowed me to purge any remaining residues of my alcohol abuse from my body and mind. I addressed all physical, emotional, and mental feelings I was experiencing from day to day. These manifestations and realizations were then investigated further. And with time, those negative or painful thoughts and sensations were relieved. Through the sauna, my mental and physical, as well as spiritual, well-being was regained. I no longer have cravings for alcohol, neither mentally nor physically. Truthfully, even the recollection of the flavor of alcohol renders me sick to my stomach.

“I see it as the beginning of the next chapter in my New Life.”

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I made a conscious decision on my own. I decided to stay and give back. I wanted to be a part of the team of people who helped me and help those facing similar struggles get their lives back. To feel trusted and valued is a welcome change from the depression and angst alcohol gave me. As I neared the end of my time at Narconon, I didn’t feel as if I was leaving. I took all the staff, students I’ve met along the way and my experiences with me. I saw it as the beginning of the next chapter in my New Life. Thank you, Narconon New Life, for believing in me!

—Success Story Rick J.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.