“Drinking – A Love Story” – I’m Not That Bad!

Finishing Chapter Two and starting Chapter Three, this week’s reading focused on two parts of alcoholism with which I could readily relate. First, that no one ever saw my real drinking and second that denial allowed me to stay out there as long as I did. The author spoke at length about how she drank when she was with others and when she was alone. She would go out for drinks with her colleagues after work to the bar across the street. After one or two drinks, she would “have to run” and no one knew that those first two drinks were only the start of her night. I can recall going to the bar/restaurant on the mezzanine floor of our office building. There was always a core group of colleagues, along with others who would join once in a while. Made up mostly of bankers, the group also included… Continue reading

Chaos – I can’t quit you! – By Jo Black Sullivan

Chaos has been in the fabric of my being since I was five years old.  I didn’t understand it then but I was most definitely cultivating the art of creating it, developing an eye to spot it and seeking out people who responded to it. Chaos was my safe place long before booze and drugs took over and it has remained so long after.  In the years they were both in my life – I was a constantly twisting crescendo of ecstatic misery.  Living life in a cycle of artificial highs, sick and craving hours that served their own purpose to fill my soul and the brief moments of reality which were completely unacceptable.  So I wrapped it all in chaos and mayhem in an effort to never ever – even for one moment – be alone with myself. It started when I was a child.  There was on older… Continue reading

“The Beauty & the Madness” Spoken Word by Aaron Lee Perry & Nicola O’Hanlon

      My essay “Managing the Madness so I can Eat Cake” was turned into a Spoke Word piece and named “The Beauty & the Madness” – By Aaron Lee Perry (SOBrSOLDIER) for the Since Right Now Network. Check out both these awesome recovery resources.           “I am forty one years old and yet part of me is still five. I read fairytales and sometimes write my own. Unrestrained, I cry and laugh about something everyday. My heart rules my head. I study people and stare a lot just like an inquisitive child. Someone told me just yesterday I unconsciously make funny faces. I dance and sing and even play dress up when the mood takes me. I am untidy and swear too much. I am rebellious, slightly insane, utterly myself and completely unapologetic about all of it – simply because I am six years… Continue reading

“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

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