In his twenties and early thirties, Tom had developed a lifestyle that centered on alcohol and cocaine. Although he had stopped excessive drinking and drug use, a number of things happened in a short period of time which led him back to that lifestyle. He was wrongfully fired from a high-profile job in 2009 in a public and embarrassing manner. Then in January of 2010, when his colleague’s 18-year-old son was paralyzed from the neck down after a snowboarding accident, he agreed to assist with her law practice for a year to allow her to take time to care for her son. Just months later, in March of 2010, his brother was similarly paralyzed from the neck down in a ski accident and he wound up becoming intimately involved in his daily care and rehabilitation in Maine. In June of the same year, his mother was diagnosed with throat cancer, which had Tom running back and forth to Albany to assist in taking his Mom to chemotherapy treatments and other doctor appointments.
Taking on all of these new responsibilities, on top of running his own law firm, was extremely overwhelming. Given the utter lack of even minimal help from other family members in dealing with his brother’s accident and other issues, Tom returned to his reliance on alcohol and drugs as a crutch to keep up with all of these demands.
This resulted in Tom winding up at rehab in upstate New York in May of 2011. When he entered rehab he was 140 pounds, had bleeding gums from frequent cocaine use, cardiac and pulmonary problems from smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and was near bankruptcy. There was no doubt Tom was a mess. When he left rehab one month later, Tom was 177 pounds with a muffin top, his gums were healing, and he faced the challenge of cleaning up the messes created in every aspect of his life.
Nutrition, exercise and a regular twelve-step practice have helped Tom overcome these obstacles. In the last five years, he has rarely been sick; he set out to eat right and exercise every day and on August 1, 2015, Tom won a physique contest for men over 35.
Tom has made all his financial amends and no longer has the specter of bankruptcy hanging over his head. He was certified as a personal trainer in sports nutrition and weight management, all while maintaining a thriving law practice. After two years of freedom from alcohol and drugs, Tom was able to give up cigarettes and nicotine.
In 2013, Tom graduated from the Institute for Integrated Nutrition. He has been free of alcohol and drugs since May 11, 2011, and cigarettes and nicotine since September 27, 2013. Tom measures his success by the differences between the life he was living when I entered rehab and his life today. It seems like looking back on a different person and a different lifetime. Through the grace of God, and by utilizing the twelve-steps and tools in this book, Tom was able to achieve his goals of sobriety and overall health.
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Unpause Your Life with Dr. Cali Estes