I sat in a jail cell for three days in July of 2016. I had received yet another DUI as well as several other criminal charges. My alcoholism and drug use have caused me significant pain and suffering for my entire adult life. However, the prior year to this arrest things has completely spiraled out of control. Within the span of 12 months, my addiction had caused me to lose or harm everything important in my life; my marriage, my career, my relationship with my child and numerous health issues. As I sat in that jail cell, all I was waiting for was to get released so I would be able to commit suicide. At the age of 37, I felt I had harmed enough of my loved ones and had nothing else to live for because of my drinking. 

After being bailed out of jail, my parents and friends were able to convince me to enter rehab again. I began Advanced Health and Education, in Eatontown, N.J. I stayed inpatient during the summer of 2016. The first few days there I was still extremely depressed and full of fear and anxiety. I could barely speak to anybody without bursting into tears. I also had awful trembling and shaking. However, after being seen by the medical staff at Advanced Health, I was given the proper medication to help. I began participating more in the Group sessions. My counselor was Bill and I could not have asked for a better person to help me. Bill helped me to realize that I had to accept responsibility for my actions while I was under the influence, but I also had to understand that my addiction is a disease. I had to learn to forgive myself and to fight back against it. I had to surrender to the fact that I was completely powerless over it.

Also within the first week of being at Advanced Health, I was allowed to attend the Frontline meetings for First Responders, due to my career as a Law Enforcement Officer. The meetings were run by John Becker. Again; I could not have asked for better people to help me. It was a great experience to hear how other individuals in the same profession as me were going through the similar battles with addiction as me. I was able to express my concerns and fears about how my life had become such a mess. I was able to express to the group my frustrations with my career in law enforcement and some of the negative consequences the job had caused me in my personal and professional life. Everybody at the Frontline meetings; John, Adam and the other patients all provided me with great advice and suggestions with my many problems. The time I spent at the Frontline meetings is something that I will never forget. 

At some point during my stay at Advanced Health, I began to regain hope. Thoughts of self-pity became less frequent, and I slowly started to feel like a human being again. My family came to visit me frequently while staying there and they also provided me with encouragement. I went from being utterly hopeless and suicidal, to having more support from other people than I ever had in my life. I woke up every morning and was happy to do so. I completed my stay at Advanced Health and Education in late August. I then entered into their Intensive Outpatient Program and continued to attend the Frontline meetings. I also became heavily involved in A.A. when I got home and began working the steps with my sponsor.

As I type this today, I have 170 days clean and sober. Anybody who saw the condition I was in 171 days ago would have thought that would be impossible. I cringe to think what my life would be right now had I not attended Advanced Health and Education, as well as the Frontline meetings. Today I am still trying to clean up the wreckage of my past. It has not been easy. However, I take things one day at a time and try to incorporate what I learned at Advanced Health to my everyday life.  I honestly believe that the caring people at Advanced Health saved my life.

James P