Yesterday on November 10, 2014, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of being sober. I started drinking very heavily at 17, and by 20, I knew I really had a problem. Parents reading this, take note, teens can be alcoholics. Not all of us are “just going through a phase.”
I have no concept of what it means to have a “lovely wine that goes so well with this fish”, or a nice drink in front of the fire while I chat with my best friend. I only drank to get drunk. I only drank to self-medicate. I drank alone. I even hid my drinking by pouring Koolaid into my glass to disguise it. I drank destructively.
On November 10, 1989, I told my then boyfriend (my now husband) and my best lady friend that I had a problem and I needed to stop. And miraculously, I did. I’ve never been to a 12-step program, but somehow, organically, I did the 12 steps. However, knowing what I know now, I would recommend going to a support group. It would have been much easier on me if I did. To this day, I always know where I can get to an AA meeting if I need one. It’s so important to get the help you need. Don’t hesitate!
In my upcoming book, Life in the ‘Cosm, I playfully write about two characters accidentally getting drunk. I don’t think I could have done that chapter many years ago, because I only saw booze as EVIL!!! But I understand now that there are many people, including my husband, who drink responsibly and sparingly. I can divorce myself from the ugliness of alcohol to write a very silly chapter. Yet, I do show in ‘Cosm what happens if you just gulp down anything that’s in front of you, especially on an alien world. There are always consequences to a lack of good judgment. Virj finds that out in a hurry.
Sure, I’m proud to have come this far. 25 years is a long time, but I couldn’t get there without remembering that I do have a problem for life, and every single day I need to make the choice not to drink. I admit, it’s much easier not to drink today, but you’d be surprised how temptation can randomly smack me upside the head. Just months before I hit 20 years sober, I had to flee from a restaurant, because I was overwhelmed by the urge. I was so surprised by the craving, but it did pass. It was a sober reminder that addiction never goes away, pun not intended.
Thankfully, I feel very content, mentally and spiritually, and that helps so much. It’s so important to pursue one’s passions. And cupcakes. It’s so important to pursue them, too. (I’m not kidding, my cupcake timer actually just went off as I typed this sentence.)
To those of you battling addiction, or living with those who are, I salute you. You can come out the other end and live a life of peace. My sincere prayer is that you do. Many blessings upon you!
Thanks for reading!
Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer in high tech and government organizations. She is currently a Web Developer consultant for Dynamic Canvas Inc., and assistant to the Executive Director at H’Art of Ottawa. She also enjoys her crafting business, Cait Cards.