Learn about Ruben’s treatment experience in his recovery from alcohol addiction. Ruben is a Counselor and Alumni at Starlite Recovery Center.
In the summer of 2015, I woke up one day, hungover (as usual). As I was driving to work, I took a swig of alcohol. Once I got to work, I walked straight up to my boss and said, “I can’t be here anymore. I have to go to rehab.” As I walked out of work, I called my parents and asked them to meet me at my home. It was time to start looking for another rehab. Everybody knew that this day was coming. I finally came to realize that I just didn’t need help –I wanted help. This time, I was ready. I took the initiative to do something about my drinking and not let it control my life anymore. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from drinking all day, every day, just to function. I was spending a ridiculous amount of money to support my alcoholism. I knew I had a problem. I was so tired of living the way I was, so I found a treatment center I had never been to before and called Starlite.
After talking with Starlite’s admissions team, I knew I was going to a place where I would be accepted for who I was and could get the help I needed to live my best life possible. On the morning of July 1, 2015, my parents drove me to Starlite. It was that day that I took my last drink. The next day, while still in detox, I was not about to waste any time. I walked into the Freedom Group and started to get down to the work needed to change my life for the better. It was in the Freedom Group where I found other people who identified in the LGBT+ community and faced many of the same issues I dealt with every day.
For the next 45 days, it was an emotional rollercoaster – I felt all of my feelings! From anger, sadness, tears, panic, frustration, happiness, laughter, hope, doubt, and faith. I don’t regret any of it. I have learned to not regret any aspect of my life, as I now know that everything thing I went through was meant to happen to get me to where I am today.
After treatment, I moved into a sober living home for 6 months to put into practice what I learned at Starlite and gain additional structure in my life. It was there that I made some of the best connections with friends that I could ever ask for. I was grateful to be in a sober living environment. There were good times, there were bad times, but overall, it was the best experience I could have imagined it to be.