Eleven years of sobriety from being an alcoholic and the search for serenity and self-love.
Today the 22nd of October 2017 is my birthday, my recovery birthday, eleven years of sobriety from being an alcoholic.
When I spoke to Dy about writing something for the Houghton House website, we initially were going to do it as an add on to my existing story on the website. However as I started thinking and realising just how much had changed since that story was written and how much I had changed, I felt that a new story was in order and the old story should stay is it is, Dy agreed.
Recovery from being an alcoholic is hard, recovery is easy, recovery is a joy, recovery hurts, recovery is boring, recovery is exciting and it is so much more and it can be all of this at the same time. That for me is it’s real gift.
I was asked to write a success story, a story of my successful recovery. Let me tell you of the real success first, I am alive. Houghton House and the program helped me save my life. If you want a success story then there is nothing greater than that. I am a good person, a great guy and there is much I want to do for myself and for those around me, dying from alcohol or suicide would have been a terrible loss of the potential I was given. I plan to use that potential every day to build a life of quality for myself and to make this world a slightly better place for those I can. That is the success of my story, I am alive and I owe a great deal of the quality of my life to the skills Houghton House taught me and continue to teach me.
I spoke about the gift of recovery being many things at the same time, my eleventh year optimised this in a very big way. I got divorced from the woman that I love, with that, also losing my step children who I love. She has moved on and built a new life with another and that nearly broke me. This was the single most painful experience of my life, I experienced a type of pain and heart break that I could never fathom. But I chose to open myself to this pain, to go through it and experience it and I did. The pain become physical at times, I felt light I was on fire and my system was overloading, but I went through it.
This pain lasted for eight months before it started to subside. But what I found on the other side of this pain was something that had eluded me for ten years in recovery, I found serenity and true, deep self-love. This is a gift that I could not have imagined or even comprehended until I experienced it.
During these eight months my business suffered as I struggled to keep going, I nearly, very nearly lost it, my gym, my apartment, my truck. But I got up every morning, went to work, did my best and clawed my way back. The result is that this has been my best year ever, I got my international coaching license, one of the first seventy five coaches in the world to do so, I became the strength coach/consultant for the Bizhub Highveld Lions, I am about to hold my first international workshop in Germany and I was asked by Men’s Health magazine to appear in their television advert, “Still Making Better Men’ and my Development Academy has really taken off. The best and the worst all at the same time.
The story of my success from being an alcoholic, is not that I am a billionaire or president or even happily married, it is that I am alive and able to live this life on life’s terms. I am able to be present and accountable to myself and others and to build a life of quality.
Houghton House gave me the tools, as they do everyone that walks through their doors, you just have to be willing to realise they are better tools that the ones you currently have.
These tools helped me stay sober and by staying sober I was able to suffer responsibly and on the other side of this suffering I found the greatest gifts I have ever received in my life, serenity but more important self-love.
Success is the willingness and ability to endure and enjoy this life of ours.
That is the gift of sobriety.
My name is Nicholas Ingel, I am an alcoholic and I love myself.