Thoughts of a Recovering Addict

On Dec. 1, 2007, Eamon O'Hara's family gathered with four recovering drug addicts in his boyhood home to prepare for a surprise intervention. On that day there was a single goal: to get Eamon to agree to go to rehabilitation.

The 22-year-old was once an honor roll student and star athlete whose life had spiraled into a drunken mess of legal, financial and familial problems. Most recently, a drunken car accident had left him with a face full of glass, but even that was not enough of a wake-up call for him to stop binging on an average of 40 beers, seven nights a week.

The intervention worked, and Eamon agreed to give rehab a chance. He flew to the The Malibu Beach Recovery Center (known at the time as the Marshak Rehabilitation Clinic) in Malibu, Calif. During the clinic's 28-day detox and educational rehabilitation program, Eamon was introduced to a low glycemic diet augmented by supplements and intense yoga sessions.

He is now living and working in Villa Malibu's Club Soba, a sober living facility.

These are Eamon's thoughts after 118 days of sobriety.

I could not have asked for a more rewarding experience than I have encountered during my sobriety, thus far. The obstacles I have already overcome in such a short period of time are things that I truly believed impossible during my lifetime. At first I was reluctant to commit to such a life-changing experience. I had never ventured down a road like this before; I stood face to face with the fear of the unknown. After all, the reason for my excessive drinking and drug use was because I wasn't willing to face reality, and was afraid of the possible grim future that seemed to becoming surreal.

My life just wasn't coming together the way I had hoped. Instead of taking actions to fix the problem I had created, I took the easier way out. I chose to numb my feelings with the use of chemicals in an attempt to feel instant gratification and satisfaction for the way I was living.

The Dec. 1 intervention was a most shocking experience; perhaps one of the most memorable events to take place in my life. Whoever thought that a kid growing up in a middle-class town, with a loving supportive family, and a strong athletic and academic background, would need an intervention at 22 years old because his life had become so unmanageable due to drug and alcohol abuse? Not me!

The fact is that I was in complete denial. I had lived this way throughout my teens and early twenties. Partying every day would cover up the thoughts, feelings, and responsibilities I didn't want to face. I had become an alcoholic. I can now see, crystal clear, how I was lowering my standards of acceptable behavior by the week. Luckily, I had family and friends that could see what I was becoming. They took appropriate actions to get me the help I needed.

Coming to California for rehab was obviously not on my schedule for 2007. The only reason I agreed to go was because I had always wanted to go to the West Coast. It didn't matter to me what I had to do there. I figured I would do 28 days in rehab, and then be on vacation. I had no intention of staying clean and sober the first few weeks of December. All I knew was that I had nothing to lose. If I continued with my behavior a fatal event was bound to happen in the future.

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