At InnerBalance Health Center, we know our unique approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction works because we've experienced it firsthand. Here are the personal stories of just two of our staff members:
Joe Eisele, CACIII, NCAC -- Clinical Director
The need for Biochemical repair in sobriety:
I would like to share some of my history to help you better understand my passion for treating alcoholics and drug addicts with biochemical repair.
When I was 14 years old I myself started into what would become a 20-year devastating addiction to drugs and alcohol. These chemicals negatively affected every area of my life making it very difficult to finish high school and stopped my college education in the second year. The chemicals were becoming the most important thing in my life and eventually would destroy every important relationship including family and friends. I lost every job I ever had, and over the next 15 years I was in and out of mental hospitals, jails, and sanatoriums.
To make a long story shorter I ended up in Colorado 33 years ago where I entered a 30-day inpatient program. I worked hard in this program but six months out of treatment found myself relapsed back into alcoholism, and for the next three and a half years the dread and terror of this illness returned.
I felt like an absolute failure in life going in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous but not being able to stay sober for more than a few weeks at a time. The fellowship was very supportive, but the depression, anxiety and sleepless nights would drive me back to the bottle. I again entered treatment for 30 days thinking this time would be different but after only a few short weeks again living a nightmare of drunkenness. Then came the bottom and an awakening to the fact that I was either going to get and stay sober or never find the answer to my depression, anxiety and sleepless nights.
I got a sponsor committed to two A.A. meetings per day for the next year and this started my sobriety. After six months of sobriety I started looking for answers to why I still did not feel normal. The first book I read was Dr. Broda Barns' book on hypothyroid, and the symptoms fit me perfectly. I found a Doctor to test my thyroid and found that it was not working normally. Fixing this helped lift some of the depression and sleep problems, but I also wondered what more might be out of balance.
This started my journey into biochemical repair, and over the next several years I sought help from doctors that helped me repair my adrenal glands, correct my hypoglycemia by changing my diet to get off sugar, caffeine, junk food and incorporate more vitamins, amino acids, and fish oil. I also started to exercise, even eventually running a marathon.
The job I have been doing for the last 27 years is working in the field of chemical dependence, helping others come out of that dark desperate life into the freedom of sobriety. And what I have been doing for the past 13 years is using this biochemical approach to help people become more successful by eliminating depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep problems and other symptoms that often remain if biochemical repair is not implemented.
Because of the tremendous support of A.A., and the personal investigation of biochemical repair to the body, today I have been sober for 29 years, have a wonderful wife and three beautiful grown kids, great friends and a job I love doing.
The one story which made a lasting impression on me is about a young man who started drinking and smoking cigarettes at the age of 12. By the time he was 14 he added pot to the list. By 16 he had tried most drugs and was drinking and smoking pot daily, having fun partying. He lead a secret life by lying, hiding, and pretending he didn't have a problem. He also, continued isolating himself from his family and friends. At 18 he was driving home after a long night of partying. He blacked out behind the wheel of his car going over 75 miles/hour he veered off the road rolling his vehicle 4 ½ times. He laid pinned under the wreckage. The first person on the scene was a nurse, who was able to work her way down the steep incline to the mangled car. She reached into the overturned car and checked the drivers pulse only to find none. When the nurse got back to the top of the road a highway patrol officer pulled up. She reported the driver dead. The officer asked if anyone else was in the vehicle and the nurse wasn't sure. The officer slid down the steep road side passing debris from the wreckage and looking for others that might have been thrown from the rolling car. Seeing the car, the officer knew no one could have survived the wreck. He flashed his light inside and was startled to see the driver emerge from the passenger window, cut, bleeding and confused, but alive.
This story had a lasting impression on me because it is my story. You would think this would have cured me from ever drinking and doing drugs again. Wrong. I continued to use and even increased my consumption. In my twenties I started using cocaine heavily. I stayed stuck for over 25 years, lost, empty and out of control. Amazingly after having three other accidents, including another roll over, I am still alive.
I tried a traditional approach to overcoming my addictions for three years, following an experts advice and going to group counseling, support meetings, and individual counseling. I would be sober for a short period of time, only to fall back into my addiction.
Reaching my forties, I began to think of myself as a weak willed person who was never going to get his life in order. I struggled with depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia. I had one last plan to take care of the problem: I was going to check out of life with an overdose of sleeping pills. I was lucky -- I went to a doctor who saw through my story of insomnia. He advised me to stop sitting around talking about my disease but rather to take action and do something about it. He said, "if you had diabetes or cancer we would not try and talk you out of your disease; we would take an aggressive attack on the illness in order to get you healthy." To this day I don't know if that doctor realizes he saved my life.
Today I have over 17 years of recovery without relapse. I attribute my success to the biochemical approach you can learn about here at the InnerBalance website. I have two wonderful children and enjoy each day working with others who struggle with the same type of imbalances I struggled with 18 years ago.