Alcoholism

kieferpix via Getty Images

You Weren't Born To Pay Off Debt And Die

What you don't have to do forever is live with debt. You don't have to spend every month calculating how much you can afford to put towards debt repayment, while continuing to use credit, and staying in the never-ending cycle of borrowing money and trying to pay it back. It's not an easy cycle to get out of; I know that firsthand.
Edison Yao

I've Gone From Recovering Alcoholic To Sober Shepherd

I'm coming up to my 19th anniversary of becoming clean and sober, and this time of the year for me is typically a moment of reflection. I'm still not sure how I went from standing alone on a subway platform with the intention of taking my life 20 years ago, to standing in front of an audience of 200 people looking to me for guidance and hope.

The Secret Pain Of Caretakers

Staring up at the constellation Orion on a crisp winter's night, I wonder how much longer I can bear the pain. The pain of watching my husband cringe and suffer. While he can dull his chronic physical...
Cristian Sabau via Getty Images

Revealing I Was Sexually Abused Lost Me The Mother I Never Had

After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.
Hemera Technologies via Getty Images

This Is How I'm Climbing Out Of Addiction

I'm one of those alcoholics who became an alcoholic from my first drink. My life truly went downhill from there. I made bad decisions, made myself a bad reputation and drank more to ease my depression. Having alienated myself from people to stop them from witnessing this mess I was, I started to drink alone. I would binge for days at a time. Enough drinks in me would get me into the beds of complete strangers. It would not be considered consensual in a legal sense with my state of intoxication, thinking back to it now. The guilt and shame overwhelmed me. I had to keep myself intoxicated to keep my depression and anxiety at bay.
mog via Getty Images

Recovering From Addiction Means Learning to Live With it

Within the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, the word "recovered" comes up at lot, and come to think of it, why wouldn't it? Many an addict latches on to that idea as a desperate lifeline of hope. I, on the other hand, have grown to embrace the fact that until the day I die, I will be a recovering alcoholic. I long ago decided to make peace with this disease, but that in no way makes me immune to feeling frustrated and angry by the circumstances surrounding my relationship with the addiction.
Paul Bradbury via Getty Images

Once I Stopped Drinking I Fell, Upwards, Into Life

I don't want to tell you the story of my drunkenness. You've heard it before, or seen it before, or a version of it. It is not unique. I don't have a tale to weave for you of bizarre miracles and angels and heavenly choirs. I want to tell you of simple amazement. I fell, upwards. I fell into a life, once I stopped shaking and twitching and seeing things and vomiting. This has not just been a sobriety lesson, but a life one. At school, with loved ones, even (perhaps especially and most simply) on my writing journey -- honesty, being open and willing to accept some guidance goes a long way.
Shutterstock / Andrii Koval

My Father Is an Addict and a Good Man

Dad's recent bout with sobriety was four or five years ago, and lasted over a year. During that time, he was very good to his family. Dad's wellness certainly did not last long though, and within just over a year, he had determined he 'didn't need help anymore' and was back inside the cycle of pills and alcohol. At this point in my life, my father is still an alcoholic and an addict, and he has survived tremendous odds. He is a good man. Addiction is nasty company.
Handout

My Years Of Alcoholism Gave Way To Mental Illness (BOOK EXCERPT)

I claw at the head of the stinky, stained mattress, hanging on to life and wishing for death. The room is dark and claustrophobic. But not dark enough. My eyes refuse to stay closed. They burn and sting. My jaw aches continuously from anxious teeth-grinding. Normally, this far along in withdrawal, I'm through feeling hyper-anxious and hyper-vigilant. This time is different and frightening. I cannot sleep. If I do, I'll suffocate.