News that actor Ben Affleck entered into treatment for alcoholism for the third time Wednesday hit home for me. I got sober 26 years ago, but my story didn’t make headlines, because I wasn’t rich or famous. No one knew and no one cared what happened to me.
It’s a different story for Affleck. The intervention by his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner, to get him the help he desperately needs is big news around the globe. That’s the price of stardom – every move celebrities make is fodder for the media, and everyone has an opinion about their lives.
The New York Post reports that Affleck is dealing with his alcoholism in a way few people can afford, at a luxury facility called The Canyon at Peace Park in Malibu, California.
The Post reports: “The sprawling luxury facility rests on 240 acres blessed by the Dalai Lama and adorned with trails, outdoor pools and beach access. Each patient has an individual psychiatrist, therapist and internist to co-create a recovery plan as well as a wellness plan for the patient to use for the rest of their lives. Each plan is customized to the individual patient based on their specific needs.”
Affleck is fortunate that he can afford this first-class treatment. I certainly couldn’t when I faced up to my alcoholism back in 1992, nor can millions of other people addicted to drugs or alcohol who want to break free. They still have to go to work, pay their bills and find an affordable alternative to a place like The Canyon.
Here’s my advice to other non-celebrities and non-millionaires. If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs – or know someone who does – read on, because what I’m about to tell you can change your life.
Most importantly, don’t despair and don’t think you are helpless and your situation is hopeless. You can get sober and stay sober. Anyone can.
It’s going to be the same for you, too.
I have learned that when it comes to alcoholism and addiction, the denial is bigger than the disease. Meaning that alcoholism is the only disease that tells you that you don’t have a disease.
Twelve-step recovery programs have plenty of ways to treat alcoholism and help members find a spiritual path and a way of living successfully – despite the challenges that each day brings.