The Journey: Reaching Out for Help

After the shrink diagnosed me as “alcoholic,” I actually felt a sense of relief!  I kinda always knew I was a drunk; however until 28 Jul ’94 I wasn’t ready to face it.  I wasn’t ready to quit drinking… On 28 Jul ’94, I was.

When I returned home that Saturday morning, from my ‘debrief’ with my shrink, I told Susan I was ready to reach out for help – that I really couldn’t quit on my own, that I really couldn’t quit any time I wanted to…

The first call I made was to Adrian H.  He was a Northwest Captain I had flown with, and had a great deal of respect for.  One day, at the Detroit airport, I happened to see him, in civilian clothes.  I asked ‘what was new,’ and he replied, “Oh, I’m just returning from Hazelden.”

“Oh great,” I responded, “what’s Hazelden?”

He went on to explain that it is an addiction treatment center.  I can clearly remember standing there, looking at him with pure admiration.  We talked for a bit more, then I moved on; somehow knowing…

I talked with Adrian for some time.  He didn’t try to “recruit me;” he just told me what it was like, and answered all my questions.  He had a “calmness” about him that I wanted…

The next call I made was to a union HR rep.  I told him that I “thought” I “might” be alcoholic.  (Notice the two “outs” I gave myself?  Just so natural, my denial!)  We talked for about 45 minutes when he said he thought that it would be a good idea for me to go up to Hazelden ‘for an assessment.’  Then he asked if I would mind if he called my chief pilot to coordinate my visit to Hazelden.  (I think that question was more or less, just a courtesy!  LOL.)

It wasn’t but 10 or 15 minutes later that I received a call from Captain Dick Edwards, Northwest Airlines Chief Pilot, Detroit Airport.  I had a great deal of respect for Captain Edwards.

The first thing he said was, “Thank you for coming froward Bob; that is a very courageous thing you’ve done.”  I didn’t think it was courageous – I was just sick-n-tired, and beat up, and I wanted help…

He then went on, “We’re going to take care of you Bob, and your family.”  And I somehow knew it.  He then asked if I had had anything to drink that morning and I told him I hadn’t.  (It just didn’t make sense to me to ask for help while drinking… I always knew when I finally asked for help, that that would be the end of it.  And it was.)

At that point Dick told me that I had a bed at Hazelden, reserved for the next day!  No foreplay!  These guys weren’t screwing around.

After I hung up I felt a great sense of relief.   Thank God I wouldn’t have to drink anymore – I knew it was killing me; and it was.  I felt “hopeful”…

This entry was posted in Drinking, Sobriety. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.