Like many adults who have struggled with alcohol addiction, Hector Mota began drinking at a young age.
Growing up, his family served alcohol at every family gathering and encouraged the view that drinking was necessary for having fun. “I took my first drink at 14 or 15,” he said. “It started as a once in a while thing with my friends, but became continuous in my late teen years. I was drinking alone everyday into my thirties. Eventually, the amount I was drinking was ridiculous. I’d have 30 beers an evening, sometimes even more on the weekend.”
Making the Decision to Enter Treatment
Hector knew his alcohol use was taking a toll on his health and relationships, but it wasn’t until he almost lost his family for good that he decided to turn things around.
“My wife asking to separate and taking the kids with her broke me,” he said. “She warned me I needed to take control of my addiction, but I couldn’t stop. I just kept drinking to take the pain away and forget about what had happened. It was the lowest point in my life. I thought about rehab, but put it off until my 13-year-old son asked me to go and get help. Having my child tell me he was afraid I was going to die was a wakeup call. It was the most painful thing I’ve been through, but he showed me it was time to quit hurting my family.”
Being away from his children for an extended period of time was one of the hardest parts of inpatient treatment for Hector, but he knew in his heart that this sacrifice was necessary to make a better future for his family. Withdrawal was also a concern, since he was accustomed to drinking extensively every day. Fortunately, the staff at Great Oaks had the experience and training to help keep Hector as comfortable as possible during the withdrawal period. “I was scared of withdrawal because I was used to drinking constantly, but my symptoms were close to none,” he said. “I feel very lucky that I was able to have such a positive experience.”
Adjusting to a Sober Lifestyle
After leaving Great Oaks, Hector needed to find a way to deal with mood swings and cravings. “The first month out of rehab was the toughest,” he said. “I needed to learn to walk away from situations that weren’t healthy and take control of my life. I spent time reading the steps and looking through Great Oaks material. I went to a church that helped me celebrate my recovery. I read my Bible to get closer to the Lord and Jesus Christ. I listened to Christian music to calm down.”
Repairing his relationship with his wife and children was also a top priority. “Reconciling with my wife wasn’t easy–it took a long time to regain her trust. Even though our relationship is a work in progress, my wife and my four children are my biggest supporters. It wasn’t easy for them, but they did little things every day to accommodate me. I know I hurt them the most, so I feel like I owe them the most. Their love and support makes me want to try even harder to stay on the right path.”
Although Hector’s immediate family was very supportive, he did encounter several people who weren’t so understanding. “When you leave treatment, you need to realize that not everyone will care about what you’ve been through,” he said. “There will always be people drinking and people who aren’t sympathetic. This peer pressure can make you feel bad, but you have to turn it into an opportunity to keep your mind focused and not fall into the negativity of the situation.”
Hector’s Advice for Others
When asked what words of advice he’d give to others who are struggling with alcohol addiction, Hector stressed that treatment will be the best decision you can make for yourself.
“If you think you need help, you probably do,” he said. “Something isn’t right in your life if you’re to the point where you’re considering seeking addiction treatment. I would tell anyone in treatment that no matter how bad your situation is, you’re not alone. There is always hope. There is always someone to stand by you and support you. Never give up. Take your recovery one day at a time and you can do it.”
Hector has been sober for three years now and says his time at Great Oaks was instrumental in helping him break free from the bonds of addiction. “Treatment gave me the knowledge I needed to be successful,” he said. “The amazing staff and ongoing support helped me want to try to get better. Great Oaks saved my life and I think it will save yours.”