Taking the Next Step: Dr Phil's Get Real Retreat: Angie and Ron
"My name is Angela, and I'm here because the father of my 2-year-old is a severe alcoholic, and I'm at my wits' end. I love this man, and I've kept the faith in him that other people have not. I hate it. I deserve better. And Ron is a great person when he's sober, but I can't live with the alcoholism anymore. If Ron doesn't get professional therapy, then this disease will kill him at an early age."
"My name is Ronald. I hate being an alcoholic. When I get on a roll, I drink a lot. I don't work. I don't see my daughter. I hate it. I hate waking up in the morning having to drink before you even get in the shower. It's a sickening feeling. If I don't get help now, it's going to kill me."
Angie gives an update:
"Good job, Dad" is the key line Dr. Phil said to Ron the first time they met onstage. And this statement is what convinced my husband of 30 to 40 beers a day to change, with almost two years of sobriety!
Since the Dr. Phil Get Real Retreat in June 2008 " which was an amazing wake-up call for both of us " our lives could not be more complete. The retreat did tremendous work in Ron's life as he struggled with depression and alcoholism. Ron was very self-destructive, and the turmoil he put himself through was very difficult to fathom, causing me to take every measure I could to seek help for his addiction. It took seeing himself on a video I captured for the show, with his daughter at his side, to make Ron realize his addictive behavior and what it was doing to our family.
I was enabling Ron so much (which was my addiction) that I didn't even realize for those few seconds of taping, that my 2-year-old was actually mothering her father. When Dr. Phil exposed the video to me on the set, I crumbled. This was my wake-up call, and it was then I realized I had a problem myself. I was an enabler. Maybe all of America should just tape themselves on a camcorder and watch it to see what you are doing to self-destruct, and more importantly, what you are exposing your children to. After you watch it, ask yourself, "Would I want my child to see this video? Am I being a good role model? Is the behavior my child sees from me what I'd like them to practice in their own lives?" It might change your mind to make a difference in your life and the lives of your family.
Ron, right then, became mad at his addiction. He did not like seeing himself on video acting the way he did when he drank, and he also didn't like having Dr. Phil state, "Good job, Dad", right in his face on national television. But you know what? It worked. And it was after this retreat that Ron's life changed forever.
Ron never had to utilize the treatment offered from Dr. Phil, which meant going to an intensive rehab in Texas for 90 days. Ron could not bear being away from me and Olivia, and he decided on his own what he needed to do, and he committed to doing it. He not only realized what he had done to his only daughter at the time, but took great measures to overcome his addiction for God. He became active in our church, singing in the choir, being the church handyman and giving back to society by helping the elderly by distributing food and care in times of need throughout the neighborhood. He started replacing his addiction with other things he enjoyed in life, such as hunting, fishing, home improvement projects and spending time with his little angels. He keeps himself busy constantly, and his motto when his feet hit the floor every morning is "I'm going to make something happen today!" and believe me, he definitely does.
Ron's a licensed electrician and works his magic on all of the jobs he touches. His cell phone never stops ringing, and his talent has no end. I honestly don't know how he ever had time to drink in the first place, because his agenda stays so full now, which keeps the mind from wandering. When asked about his drinking and past mishaps, Ron states, "I am so done with the past and look forward to what my future brings. I want to be a great dad to my girls and a great husband to my wife, Angie."
I unfortunately went through some rough roads after completing the Get Real Retreat. I suffered depression and anxiety that must have been on the back burner, while I was trying to save Ron. All the self-destructive behavior I saw really took a toll on me. It affected my job performance and my overall well-being. Living with an out-of-control alcoholic can be very frustrating and difficult to bear. I was constantly trying to prevent Ron's drinking, but when it started, I learned quickly that an alcoholic does not care what day of the week it is, or what consequence will occur from it. The alcoholic is only concerned about where they can find their next drink. Beer and liquor are an alcoholic's best friend and anything that steps in front of that "liquid gold," in an alcoholic's eyes, is definitely looked down upon and berated.
It was then that I incorporated church and God into my life and prayed for healing. I continued to learn about the Bible and how God is always there with you. If it were not for my pastor and my family standing beside me, I do not know how I would have come out of this personal disaster with a happy ending. So many times I thought I would go insane and threatened to leave. I was dealing with someone who's mind was totally altered from alcohol, but I found the strength, and followed through and found the help Ron needed, through Dr. Phil. So many people asked me since the show, "Why did you stay?" My reply is, " I was able to make an impact on someone else's life and that person, I am proud to say, is my husband, Ron. He's been my heart since the day we met, and I won't give up on him."
Ron and I have definitely had a few tornados through our journey, but our love proved invincible. You have to remember to "love the person, not the alcoholic." Since the retreat, I am proud to say, we had a church ceremony for all to see and got married on November 29, 2008. We added a new angel to the family and her name is Karlie Nash. Now everything in our lives is all based around our girls and working to fulfill their lives with encouraging parents and instilling God in their lives.
I want to thank you, Dr. Phil, for caring about my family and I. We are now living sober, fun-filled lives and are able to remember each day and give thanks for our precious children. I am forever grateful, and God has a special place for you in heaven, and you will always have a special place in our hearts. You have touched so many lives with great advice and firmness, and it's your "magic" that helps make this world a better place. Ron and I are forever grateful.
I need to say for the Ron and Angie fans, I would like to encourage you to get help if you even for a second think you have a drinking problem or any other addiction, or if someone you know has an addiction of any kind. Don't give up. There is treatment available out there, but most of the treatment is within yourself, and if you are sick of being sick, ask yourself, "When is enough, enough?" Go talk to a pastor, pray about it, go to an AA meeting in your local area, or hand it over to God, like Ron did. We are living proof that you can stop addiction and change your life for the better. You just have to want it bad enough.
Good luck and God bless all of you.