My Recovery: Evolution of This Alcoholic


Quick recap for you new folks:  I am in a 3 month VA treatment facility for substance abuse.  My substance is alcohol.  I am 8 months sober right now.

This program is divided into 3 Phases:  Phase I is heavy-laden with groups and the rooms are on the treatment side.  Phase II is almost totally work oriented, with only a smattering of groups and you move to the more “quiet” side.  Phase III is all work and no groups, focusing on transition.


On Monday I am entering Phase II!  Can you believe I have been here over a month already?  Phase II focuses you on what they call CWT:  Concentrated Work Therapy.Because it is considered therapy, we don’t have to pay Uncle Sam a dime!

I am allowed to work a total of 24 hours in CWT.  I will still be going to a few important groups, namely CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), and Relapse Prevention (that’s my core small group led by my designated Social Worker.)

I will be moving to the other side of the domiciliary as well.  There are a lot less staff roaming around on the side of the building.  Picture standing on the outside of the building:  the left and right sides are identical to one another, with a lobby separating the wings.

I have been assigned as a Groundskeeper.  I will tell you, I am not a big fan of manual labor.

So folks, here we go in the evolution of this Alcoholic who doesn’t like to call himself an Alcoholic.  I am ready to be working.  I was growing weary of the same groups day in and day out, though they certainly have had their merit. 

However, my new non-alcoholic mind is grateful to be working and having the ability to make money!  I also view this position as a challenge to my belief system and I will be practicing a lot of Acceptance I am sure.

I will update you in a few weeks (or sooner if there are dire circumstances) about how the job is going.I am also rethinking my transition plan for the end of March, but more on that when I have formulated it more thoroughly.  I will tell you this:  It is taking shape!


  • We are rooting for you!

  • I am unsure if I have mentioned it, but I wished to offer my congratulations on your sobriety. It is never easy to get rid of something that creates the illusion of happiness (no matter how fleeting it might have been), but you are a better person for it and I am glad to see you are working hard at bettering yourself. I look forward to seeing more posts like this one!

  • I went through the same type of experience: 4 days detox, 28 days rehab, 3 months halfway house, 8 months supportive living and 2 years “shelter plus care”. After rehab it was all one program, three different phases. Some people, like us, need the structure and support network. I volunteered in two places that were completely new to me: in the kitchen (as the cook for the halfway house and detox center – over 40 people), then volunteered at the local zoo for a number of months as a grounds keeper/maintenance person. All the while going to treatment, living in a recovery community and working the program. It was a very rewarding and humbling experience helping me become the person that I am today. Congratulations on your progress. You’re doing a great job. Keep up the good work!

  • That is great news! Working will make the time go faster, even if the type of work isn’t ideal… Having some cash in pocket will feel good too! Very happy for you!

  • Manual labor, although outside your comfort zone, might just be what you need. Although the time of year isn’t the greatest. When I first stopped drinking (I mean REALLY STOPPED drinking) I went with my dad, my twin and her first born to The Botanical Gardens near us. It was a month after my mom passed. I felt like I had been drugged. I had never noticed how beautiful the things around me actually were. Alcohol had dulled everything. When a ladybug landed on my nephew’s nose, my sister and I cried. My mom loved ladybugs but I never would’ve noticed any of these things if I hadn’t been sober. Even smells were different. Everything seemed clearer somehow. Good luck.

  • Like renaissance!

  • Congrats Rob keep on trudging the happy road of destiny

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