Living for Others – So I Didn’t Have to Face Myself
I felt desperate. I was 33 and alone after having lived my entire life for others – never for myself.
The only solution I knew to control my desperation was alcohol. I am an alcoholic. I tried in vain to control my drinking – I needed to do this almost from the first moment I picked up a drink. Alcohol calmed the anxiety and fear that I had been living with my whole life. I had come to believe that it helped me through difficult situations. Really, I just hadn’t found the courage to look within and find the true source of my problems.
“It was all a Mask Hiding an Unrelenting Pain”
During my twenties, depression really set in. I had spent more than a decade just existing. To the world I was always okay, always there to help anyone in need, always the friend to be relied on, always the best brother, and always a good son – but it was all a mask hiding an unrelenting pain.
“The Only one I was Fooling was Myself”
In my head, no one knew my struggles. I’m an addict, extremely good at manipulation and lying – to myself and others. It turned out this was a complete delusion. The only one I was fooling was myself. I had started to believe my own lies, but other people could see through me, and they had started to worry.
“I was Slowly Killing Myself with Alcohol and Isolation”
I thought that I had hidden my secret very well. I would only drink alone, away from judgement and concern, slowly killing myself with alcohol and isolation. I saw this as the solution to my pain – it numbed me and momentarily calmed my obsessive thinking. For a short time, there was peace.
The Cracks Begin to Show
Eventually, my family began to worry. But they thought I would sort it out on my own – as I had always done. All my life I had been the rescuer, the problem solver, but now I needed rescuing, and all those who loved me just didn’t know what to do. I knew I was hurting them, but I had got to the stage where I just didn’t care.
The people that are most important to you become unwilling passengers on a deadly journey with your drug of choice. My parents had to deal with sleepless nights worrying if their son was going to come home. My twin brother would send me a text every night saying you can beat this and that he loved me. My younger brother ran an ultra marathon with a busted knee with me to help me break the shackles of addiction. I didn’t see any of this at the time, that’s the power of this disease.
Australian Rehab vs. Hope Rehab Center
I had to do something. I couldn’t deny the mess I was in any longer. It was then that I found Hope.
I had been to rehab in Australia three months before I found Hope in Thailand. At my first rehab, I wasn’t ready to admit I was powerless over alcohol. I went there for my family and not for myself. This rehab didn’t really take you through the 12 steps of AA/NA; it only looked at my powerlessness over alcohol and the unmanageability of my life. In effect, this was like breaking you down, leaving you depressed and vulnerable, and then sending you back out into the big bad world. I was not ready or equipped to return to my life and relapsed soon after.
Hope was very different. They focused on three core areas:
Body – physical exercise and activity
Mind – mindfulness and meditation as well as group and one-on-one counselling and CBT.
Soul – helping to find a spiritual connection and facing your character defects – using the 12 Steps.
This is why I am so Passionate About Fitness in Recovery
My earlier experiences at the Original Boot Camp is one of the main reasons for why I am so passionate about fitness in recovery. I was depressed, struggling with addiction and had little to no self-esteem. I knew I had to give life a real shake as it was slowly slipping through my fingers. I knew a few people that had been members of this and gave it nothing but praise, and I had seen them really transform not only physically but mentally.
I needed to give something a go, and I knew I would be surrounded by some incredibly strong people given the reputation of Original Boot camp. I had nothing to lose so I thought I would give it a go – much to my surprise there were people from all ages there ranging from 18-60 years old.
How the Original Boot Camp Got Me Ready for Recovery
I was riddled with anxiety and no longer comfortable in my own skin at the start. I had played rugby league at a decent level, so I knew what it was like to work hard, but this was different. It is a REAL boot camp in every sense of the word. The lead trainer and owner for the global organization is ex SAS soldier, so I will let your imagination do the rest. The program not only gets you into shape fast it also:
Attacks the very core of Depression and Anxiety and takes you completely out of your comfort zone.
It gets you out of your comfort zone. The comfort zone is the enemy of anyone that is going through addiction or a hard time. (It gets you out of your head and into your body)
It helps you develop the mindset of a warrior. The people this boot camp attracts are just pure fighters and were the people I needed to be around.
How Running The Toughest Ultra Marathon Changed My Life
Your typical session you can expect to be pushed to your limit for 40 minutes. It’s not for the faint hearted but those who stick around change their lives forever. It creates an attitude in you that you can achieve anything and nothing will beat you.
This journey with OBC led me to a ultra-marathon, 75km over a series of mountains, as part of Australia’s toughest Ultra Marathon. This Race alone – 17 hours of continues running straight up and down helped me break the shackles of my addiction (alcohol), as I knew if I could finish this race NOTHING could beat me.
I did this with fellow recruits and the owner and lead instructor for the Dee Why and Mona Vale northern beaches platoons. These guys shook me out of the biggest challenge life had ever thrown at me – addiction. I am forever grateful for the OBC family and recruits, and you know who you are.
Now My Past is Helping Me Build a Better Future
Today I am in Thailand working with recovering addicts running the same sessions that OBC has to offer – the ones that restored me to happiness, self-worth, and most importantly restored my belief in myself.
I found my purpose in life, and I owe it all to this franchise and Sargent McGeachie who does not only preach this stuff – he lives it!!!
Get out of your comfort zone – You will never look back again.
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