St. Louis – August 2021 – It has taken most of his adult life, but at age 66, Bruce finally has control over his life because he finally got control over his drinking.
“The amount of alcohol I could put away for a guy my size was just crazy,” said Bruce, an alumni of the INSynergy treatment program. “I would just drink until I’d pass out, every day and every night. I was scared that would just drink myself to death.”
It turns out that his size was part of the problem. Bruce was born missing a vertebrae. He stopped growing in high school when he reached five foot three. Just after graduating high school, Bruce started drinking.
“My reason for my addiction in my opinion is fear. Lack of confidence,” Bruce says. “I just was very uncomfortable in social situations; that feeling that was inside of me, that quotation mark feeling that was inside of me.”
While he began to drink to cope with his lack of confidence and fear, he recognized it was becoming a problem.
“Even the drinking wasn’t taking care of it,” Bruce says. “And I knew in the back of my own mind I had a problem.”
By the time Bruce reached the age of 35, his problems with alcohol became more obvious.
“I was married at the time and the wife, she started finding the bottles I would hide underneath the dashboard,” Bruce said. “Trying to explain why when I stopped at the stop sign that this bottle fell out onto my feet that’s when I knew I really had the problem but what to do and where to go about it at that particular time back in ’89, I didn’t really know where to turn.”
Bruce checked himself into an in-patient alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Kansas City. While he left treatment sober, but he says the ups and downs of withdrawal helped contribute to the end of his marriage.
Bruce remained sober for 15-years, until he took a drink one night to work up the courage to ask a woman out on a date. Not long after that, Bruce was drinking again.
“I’d turn into this totally different person,” Bruce said about his drinking. Eventually his drinking got so bad that a friend took him to INSynergy.
“He was intoxicated when he came in,” Ashley said. “but also going through withdrawal so he was very sick and in Bruce’s case, he needed to go to the hospital.”
“He needed a more hands on approach and I think that is what sets us apart from other facilities,” Ashley said. “We want to make sure that a patient not just gets into our treatment center but gets into the right treatment center for them.”
Bruce was hospitalized while he went through detox, but eventually he returned to INSynergy for treatment. Bruce was given a DNA test to see whether a medical problem was at the root of his chronic alcoholism.
Genetic testing revealed that Bruce had a particular enzyme deficiency that contributed to the depression and anxiety that were making his alcoholism so hard to overcome.
“The remarkable thing is the treatment for this condition is a vitamin,” Ashley said about Bruce’s MTHFR deficiency. Bruce was prescribed Deplin.
“Once we treated the genetic deficiency, what lifted from him was the years and years of shame and guilt,” Doctor Arturo Taca, the Medical Director of INSynergy said about treating his folic acid deficiency.
“It helped me understand myself so much more,” Bruce says. “It is the idea of being able to explain to me that that feeling, that edge, that it wasn’t just me being mental or being crazy.”
Bruce credits the caring staff at INSynergy for changing his life.
“Why don’t I think about wanting to drink? It’s just not even there. That’s what so mysterious,” Bruce says about his sobriety. “That is why I’m so thankful, that’s why I am so excited.”
Thanks to the medical treatment and psychological therapy Bruce received at INSynergy, seven years later Bruce is still sober, feeling good and walking tall.
“Drinking is not even a part of my vocabulary anymore,” Bruce says with a smile. “I am so blessed. I may be short, but good god I am healthy.”