Bob Beckel made a difficult and emotional speech at an alcohol recovery event in Washington D.C. as he was honored with the Caron Alumni Award. The Caron Treatment Center’s “Recovery for Life” Gala was held on October 8 to honor those who have made a difference in the lives of those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.
Beckel was a member of the Carter administration and is now a political commentator on Fox News Channel’s show “The Five”. Upon receiving the award at the ceremony, Beckel told the story of his struggles with alcoholism and recovery.
Beckel’s Dark World of Alcohol
Beckel has been sober for more than a decade and first sought treatment at the Caron treatment facility in Wernersville, Pennsylvania at the same time as another presidential appointee, Ron Ziegler who worked as Nixon’s press secretary. He dedicated his award to Ziegler who passed away from complications of alcoholism.
Beckel described the experience of alcoholism as drifting into the dark world and he says that there are thousands of alcoholics out there who are “desperate to find the light.” He explained the dark world he inhabited in his own time as an alcoholic when he would wake up sick and check to see if there was a dent on his car, or worse there was blood on it. He lost many friends and family members stopped sending holiday invitations because of his drinking. As many alcoholics, he convinced himself that he could quit at any time and remained in a state of denial.
Entering Treatment and Recovering
Beckel had many troubling episodes in the period when he was addicted to alcohol. He used to frequent bars around Washington D.C. and end up places he never imagined he would be. An incident in which a prostitute he hired attempted extortion led to his divorce in 2002.
He admits that the first day he entered treatment at Caron was the saddest day of his life but he felt scared and alone. By reaching out and connecting to other alcoholics while sharing his story he was able to recover. He says he could not have done it alone and without the help of Caron and Alcoholics Anonymous he would not be here today.
Not only has Bob Beckel succeeded in winning the battle against his own addiction, he has also made great efforts to help others struggling with alcoholism. He has visited people in D.C. jail to work hard to convince people with drinking problems to seek treatment for their issues and even driven alcoholics to rehab in the middle of the night.
At the Gala, he took a compassionate view of alcoholism, saying that there was no difference between the people in the audience who were on day one of being sober and those who have been sober for years.
The Fear Of Relapse
Beckel says that even for alcoholics like him who have been in recovery for a long time there always remains the fear of going back. His experiences in AA brought him more closely connected to a higher power which he says keeps him from relapsing. His faith has been a big part of his recovery and was something he only found later in life.
He describes alcoholism as a “cunning and baffling disease” and one that he is still facing. The recovery phase is one that defines an alcoholic for the rest of his life because the disease is never truly gone. Beckel’s efforts in helping others with alcoholism and his faith in a higher power are what keep him going as a recovered addict.