I haven’t made a secret on this blog that I’m a recovering alcoholic. (In fact, last month I celebrated 16 years of sobriety.) So, I was intrigued when I found Kevin’s link to Addict’s Almanac — Tye Dowdy’s series of posts over at Street Roots. When I clicked through to the posts, I was glad I did.
Like Kevin, Dowdy’s experiences are very different from mine, but mostly on the surface. Reading it, I felt at first the familiar feeling I had in some of my first twelve step meetings, listening to people talk about the wreckage addiction had made of their lives.
As a 23-year-old whose drinking career had been relatively short, but who was fortunate enough to recognize a wake-up call when I got one, I couldn’t relate to the stories I sometimes hear about DUI arrests, lost jobs, lost marriages and relationships, lost health, lost fortunes, etc. I remember mentioning those feelings to my sponsor, who said to me, “Well, if you go back out and start drinking again, all that and more could be yours.”
Since then, I’ve always been drawn to the stories of other addicts, not just because I find them informative, but also because it’s a reminder that beyond the surface of age, location, economic class, drug of choice, etc., we’re pretty much the same underneath.
Dowdy’s piece should be required reading for anyone holding forth on the “drug war.” I could get into my thoughts about that, but that’s a much longer post.
For now, go read Addict’s Almanac.