“Drinking – A Love Story” – The Functional Alcoholic

By Jackie S. The next installment of Caroline Knapp’s story digs deeper into the life of the functional alcoholic.  She talks about the difference between perception and reality.  How it looks to the world like she is holding it all together, but inside she is falling apart.  Like the Smokey Robinson tune, she used humor to hide her tears. By deflecting her depression and sadness through humor, she was able to hide her depression from everyone – even from herself. I was a young lawyer working for a large financial institution and a woman married to a very controlling perfectionist.  Therefore, I lived in two completely different worlds.  The only place I would refuse to drink was on the job, but I had to do that part of my life perfectly.  I appeared for all intents and purposes to be a workaholic ( c’mon – do alcoholics do ANYTHING part… Continue reading

The Fire – By Ryan Sirois

Four years ago I swallowed my last pain pill. Christmas night. After days of trying to look past the glowing orange pharmaceutical bottle on the kitchen counter. At Chris’s parent’s home in Pennsylvania. My mind a mess. Months of heavy anti-psychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication. A pill to focus. One to calm. Another to balance. To block addictive tendencies. To make me happy. And one more to sleep at night. Six months out of rehab, diagnosed by a psychiatrist as anxious, depressed, obsessive-compulsive, ADD. A new pharmaceutical regime to replace the old. I became a washboard of blank stares and quilted thought. Words dangled from the corner of my mouth. It was my second Christmas with Chris’s family. We were in the cordial stage of getting to know each other. That awkward period where every sentence is dissected to make sure you don’t come across like an idiot. Not wanting to let… Continue reading

Managing The Madness So I Can Eat Cake

Today is my birthday. I am forty one years old and ecstatic to have reached this age. On Saturday, I will be six years clean and sober. I say that with confidence because I cannot remember the last time I craved a drink or a drug, or even romanticised the notion of using either. During good or bad times, the thought simply does not enter my head. I am managing the madness. I am forty one years old and free to experience my humanity with all its complexities. I feel this humanity with depth and thoroughness. I am completely vulnerable to all the joy and pain. All the tears and laughter. All the anger and bliss. All the hate and love. I embrace it, sometimes with a tinge of fear – but mostly with complete abandon. All the ecstasy I sought through drugs and alcohol was already available to me.… Continue reading

Drinking – A Love Story – The Story Continues

Our reading this week took us to the end of Chapter One and the beginning of Chapter Two.  The joy of reading together like this, is the ability to share our stories and to look at the similarities we have with the author. I highly recommend this form of study to others as a wonderful supplement to the recovery process. One of the topics Ms. Knapp discussed was the situation of being in a dry location, and carting her own alcohol in her overnight bag to be sure she’d have enough to get her through the time she would be spending there.  She also talked about making a 90 minute round trip visit to the nearest county that sold alcohol and crafting what she perceived to be logical reasons for the need. I have memories of visiting my parents’ vacation cabin.  Nothing exciting – a little one bedroom wood frame… Continue reading

A Story Of Transformation – By Christine Campbell

I’m approaching another sobriety anniversary, and God willing I will celebrate twenty four years on the twenty eight of January. What a ride it has been for sure. I finished my final project for my Master’s degree in Advanced Studies of Human Behavior last Spring. I am an A student, and I put my all into my work no matter what the task or requirement is. I think back to the ninety two pound near death mess I was upon my final surrender to alcohol and drugs. With my sponsors (and her sponsors) strong suggestion of long term treatment, I went out to Los Angeles, to one of the two sober living places available in the country where women and their children were accepted. My heart was breaking watching my then four year old by my side, trusting me completely, and offering support in her own way. “Mom, don’t you… Continue reading