Owning the Label: Why I identify as an alcoholic

Last night, I stumbled on an article by a sober blogger who doesn’t believe in the term “alcoholic”. Hmm. Tell me more. I kept reading.  Turns out, they think the term keeps people stuck in a story, that most alcoholics are actually just heavy drinkers and that the term creates fear. That was the gist of the piece. I won’t link it here because the author has enough publicity without my help but if you Google it, it’s easy to find. It’s an interesting argument and I could see where they were coming from. Maybe the term does get people stuck in a behavior. Maybe the term is out of date. Maybe calling yourself an addict or alcoholic would be a self-fulfilling prophecy for relapse. I thought about all of this as I tried to fall asleep. It made me wonder: I’ve been sober for nearly 7 years and after all this time, am I still an alcoholic?

1488e04a29e602212ee8eebc2cd38059

The resounding answer I came up with at the crack of dawn this morning was, “Fuck. Yes.” No, I don’t want to drink anymore. And no, I don’t arbitrarily go up to people and introduce myself as an alcoholic. “Hey! Nice to meet you. I’m an alcoholic!” Nor do I list “alcoholic” on my resume or social media profiles. But in a meeting? I’m Sean and I’m an alcoholic. And if a friend or a friend of a friend asks about my drinking, I’ll tell them I’m an alcoholic. Why? Mainly because at this stage of my sobriety, it isn’t about me anymore. It’s about helping other people. Look, we’re in seriously fucked up times when it comes to addicts and alcoholics. People are dying at alarming rates all over the US. The recent numbers are jaw-dropping. Alcohol related deaths topped out around 88,000 last year and it looks like it’ll be even higher for 2015. We’re at an epidemic state with drugs and alcohol so arguing the semantics of terms (like I’m sort of doing here) is fucking ridiculous. As is criticizing recovery programs. We’re officially at a “whatever keeps people alive and sober is a GOOD thing” state of emergency. We can’t afford the luxury of denying people help based on what they call themselves or what they believe. We have to do whatever we can. So If somebody somewhere knows that I’m an alcoholic and that helps them get help, then terrific.

The other thing is identifying as an alcoholic does is it keeps me grounded. When those words come out of my mouth, it’s like an exhale. Each time I say it, I’m living in the truth. As an alcoholic, I lie to myself. Like a lot. And like all of the time. So saying, “My name is Sean and I’m an alcoholic” helps me combat my lifelong penchant for living in denial and delusion. Likewise owning that I’m gay, HIV positive, the child of an alcoholic and a person who suffers from depression. These are all parts of who I am and I gotta say I’m proud of it. All of it. I’ve worked hard on overcoming a lot of shit (and still have even more stuff to work on) so hell yeah I own being a drunk and all of the other labels attached to me.

Lastly, introducing myself as alcoholic reminds that I still need help too. That I don’t have this shit figured out. That I’m not some expert in sobriety who can fix the drinking problems of others (thank fucking God). Basically, it opens the door for some sort of humility to creep in. Those words tell me I’m not better than or more sober or more amazing than any other alcoholic or addict and I need that. So yeah, I’m Sean and I’m an alcoholic.

But tell what you think. Do you identify as alcoholic? Did you ever? Why or why not? There’s no wrong answers here, kids and I’m fascinated by this discussion. Let me have it in the comments section!

Advertisements

the brilliant logic of addicts

A pair of news stories popped up in my Twitter this morning feed that I found interesting. This is a miracle for several reasons a.) I actually read something other than an arbitrary list about Mean GIrls or Disney Princesses and b.) that I could relate to two stories featuring behavior most people find completely irrational.  The first was about Rob Ford. Over the last 48 hours, simply  walking by a computer or turning on a smartphone and not seeing the name “Rob Ford” pop up has been an impossibility. Ford, if you don’t know, is the Toronto mayor who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

mayor-ford-2

 

Late night comedians and news outlets have had a field day with Ford since last year when a video of him smoking crack surfaced online. Despite the obvious content of the video, Ford denied he smoked crack or used illegal drugs. Then in January another video popped up of the mayor babbling incoherently at a fast food window. And finally, today he took a break from the campaign trail to enter rehab after another video of him smoking crack surfaced. While non-addicts shake their heads and spout off one-liners about Ford and wonder what the heck he was thinking, I feel like all this sounds totally par for the course.  Moreover, to me his thinking sounds perfectly logical. As an addict, my natural instinct is to lie and deny. Doesn’t matter if cocaine powder has rimmed my nostril like sugar on a donut or if tequila is coming out of my pores, if you ask me I’ll tell you that, “I’m fine. I’m just tired.” From my experience this is how we roll. Insane bullshit ideas and wackadoodle plans are just the norm. Doesn’t matter how famous we are or how many videos exist, we don’t get the message until we’re really ready. By entering rehab, we can hope maybe he’s starting to get the message. In the meantime, it’d sure be nice if the media showed him and other addicts compassion, instead of stringing them up like piñatas and beating the crap out of them.

george_washington_bridge_haer_ny-129-8

 

Sadly, a lot of the time we addicts don’t get the message at all. Like in the other news story that I read this morning about a couple who after killing a relative and struggling with crippling heroin addiction jumped off the George Washington Bridge. Ugh. To call this devastating is a total understatement and yet again, I totally get it. Addiction is a dark place and if it gets dark enough, ending it seems like the only option. In her suicide note left for her 4 children the woman heartbreakingly wrote,”I’m sorry. I beg you to remember that Nickie that I used to be. Before I was introduced to heroin. You would not understand how much it would hurt for me to wake up every single day without you. I do know that I am taking the cowardly way out. I just don’t want to hurt people anymore.”As usual, the comments sections on the stories about this couple can be relied on for complete ignorance on the nature of addiction and should be avoided if you want to retain some serenity. But as horrible and tragic as their story is, I can’t help but feel lucky and blessed that at least for today, at least for right now, I know I have other options. I know that people can get better. Even murderers or crack smoking mayors. Mainly, I know that my crazy ideas are better off if I run them by somebody first and that I don’t have to do any of this recovery business by myself. And that gives me a lot of hope.

5950_387420728035066_1062601721_n

Are smart kids destined to be drunk kids?

Wait. Maybe I wasn’t just a teenage alcoholic and drug addict because I was bored or because I hit the genetic jackpot.  According to a new study, my eagerness to pick up a drink at such an early age was most likely caused by the fact that I’m a genius.  Suddenly, it all makes sense.

dr evil wide

New research suggests kids who develop language and intellectual skills earlier are more likely to drink and take other drugs than their less intelligent peers. The nice folks at Time magazine explain it like this:

“In 2011, for example, British researchers found that women who were in the top third of the IQ range when tested in elementary school were more than twice as likely as those scoring in the bottom third to have used marijuana or cocaine by age 30; for men, the top-ranked boys were almost 50% more likely to have taken amphetamine and 65% more likely to have used ecstasy (MDMA) by adulthood.”

These findings sound remarkably like my teen years. I was always a smart kid, I just didn’t always go to class. I was extremely busy with more important things. There were music videos to be watched and cigarettes to be smoked. Nevertheless, this drunken genius idea holds water, right? I mean Carl Sagan smoked weed, Steve Jobs liked LSD and Freud was a big cokehead. Yet leave it to the Finns  to rain on my “I’m an alcoholic because I’m a genius”theory.  “Social drinking in many countries and nonproblematic drinking is more frequent and common among people with higher education,” says Antti Latvala, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland and lead author of the study. The article goes on to suggest that, “Intelligence can serve as a vehicle for moderation when it comes to alcohol or drug use — the more educated people are, the more they internalize and appreciate the dangers and risks of overindulging. The higher education that’s correlated with greater intellect also puts more at stake for those who indulge in alcohol or drug abuse.” Aaaand they lost me.

tumblr_mebi0dDzqX1qdr3s3o2_500

This statement gets an epic eyeroll for a few reasons:

*  I know several genius drunken hot messes who didn’t use intelligence as a vehicle for moderation and instead chose to simply drive said vehicle into a tree or through someone’s living room.

* Spend enough time in 12 step programs and you’ll see a lot of folks with Ivy League educations and high-powered jobs who continue to relapse.

* As a teenage drug user, drinker and schnapps shoplifter, I never got high with the valedictorian of our class. Those kids actually did say no and did really go to class. I did however get high with the artists, actors, debaters and writers. And continued to do so for the next 20 years.

My point is, and I honestly have one (I think), that addiction and alcoholism doesn’t give a shit about how smart you are, what school you went to or how you did on your SATs.  In fact, unless you’re 17 nobody cares about your SATs. Smart, dumb, black , white, purple– from what I’ve seen this disease is an equal opportunity killer. Maybe its the other way around maybe the kids who were born addicts become smarter and more verbal to get what they wanted? Who knows? Today I’m just grateful that I’ve been struck with the wisdom that says on a daily basis, “No, Sean you can’t drink with moderation. Like ever.”  i also know that people like me are going to drink and use drugs regardless of how impractical or crazy it sounds. I submit this study about the fine folks of Alaska to support that statement.

Happy Tuesday, my fellow geniuses!

Tarjetas-de-presentación-de-famosos-26-Wile-E-Coyote-The-Road-Runner

Keep Coming Back, Mike Tyson & Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are, Lamar Odom.

Not surprisingly, I’m not much of a sports person. Yet I’m a news and pop culture person so clearly I’ve seen the Mike Tyson story unfold like the rest of the planet. From unbeatable boxing champ to certified hot mess, Tyson’s story is a difficult one but really not that different from any we in recovery hear of or lived through ourselves. It is hard not to roll your eyes when the press sensationalize the adventures of celebrity drug addicts and drunks. Things like arrests, hospitalization, criminal charges and bar brawls are sort of the norm for non-famous addicts. But when celebrities do this things, it winds up on the front page. Over the weekend, Mike Tyson railroaded his own press conference to confess that he’s been lying about being sober.

The press called these “startling revelations” but really this another day at the office for your run of the mill alcoholics and addicts. This isn’t to minimize Tyson’s struggle however. Tyson, like the estimated 60% of people who enter drug and alcohol recovery programs, is a chronic relapser. And Tyson, like myself in my disease, is a bullshit artist and a liar. That’s just kind of how we roll.Yet just like me and the thousands of others who tried to get sober over and over and finally did, Tyson stands a chance. He seems pretty beat down and fucked up which are good signs, even if they don’t sound like it.  Near the end of the press conference Tyson told reporters, “I wanna change my life, I wanna live a different life now. I wanna live my sober life. I don’t wanna die.” From my experience, that’s an excellent place to start.

khloe-kardashian-lamar-odom_0

Also over the weekend, Lamar Odom was reported missing for three days. Tabloids reported that the NBA star had vanished and his family was concerned he was on a “Crack binge” (you know, as opposed to using crack in social setting like tea party or at an ice cream social). His family now says he wasn’t missing and brushed the whole thing off. Whether he was or wasn’t on this crack binge, this kind of behavior is also par for the course with addicts. In addition to relapsing and lying, we like to hide out and disappear. I bring all of this up today because the more I stay sober the more I realize it’s all the same. No matter who you are or where you go. Addiction and alcoholism doesn’t care what you do for a living or if you’re on a reality show. It just wants to kill you.

The real news, in my mind, isn’t that these things happen. The stories that save lives are the ones of survival are the afters, not the befores or durings. I’m inspired when I see famous addicts (Matthew Perry, Robert Downey Jr. Kristen Johnston) transcend the normal behavior and fight their demons head on. But as longtime media watcher and pop culture fan, I also know those kind of stories don’t sell as many magazines either.

Catchup

41415

 

 

Day 27 of 30 Days of Blog finds me running around like a moron. I’m attending a wedding, putting out some work fires and generally trying to keep my head out of my backside. I would consider myself the “b word” (no, not that b word). Busy. But not in the cop-out American “I’m so busy” way like being busy should deserve me a parade or a special parking spot. I’m busy in the way that I am blessed to do things I love. Listen, I’m lucky to have a life that is full and involves more than waiting tables and drinking tequila until my brain falls out of head. This being said, I thought I’d use today’s post to breathe and let readers get caught up while sharing some news.

First off, the news. My new e-book, The Potato Salad Variations has been delayed on the account of my health funkiness and some editing sluggishness. But it will be out in the middle of July and I hope you guys read it. I think it’ll be funny-sad-ridiculous-uplifting. Plus, it has some stories I’ve never put on paper with yummy recipes to boot! It will once again be available thru SmashWords.com and I’ll let you know the exact date as we get closer.

Next the catchup. I have had friends and readers say that my 30 days of blogging has given them too much to read. Fair enough. Take today to get all caught up. Some of the posts I really enjoyed writing this month are as follows:

* loved the cathartic feeling of blogging about being 17

* also really liked this goofy post about penguins.

*my fav post of the month (so far) also features my favorite Stevie song 

* and when in doubt, start at the beginning!

So will I survive being busy without acting like an entitled jerk? And what accessories will save my wedding outfit? And how many pieces of cake will I really have? You’ll just have to read tomorrow to find out! And thank you in advance for doing that, by the way. 🙂

 

 

The 12 Days of Blogmas: Josh Hamilton

As we continue to celebrate the The 12 Days of Blogmas, wherein I countdown my 12 favorite and most-noteworthy blogs of 2012, the wonders never cease. I wanted to see which blog posts were the most popular, had the most views, most tweets and most forwards. Thankfully  the stats tools on WordPress are super handy, easy to use and filled with that kind of information. The winner? A post about baseball superstar Josh Hamilton and his relapse. Wait– the most popular post was about sports?!? I know. Baffles the mind. Please enjoy a photo of me with a sparkly white Christmas tree and then we’ll try to make sense of all this.

384661_2969242950579_659029825_n

Maybe it’s because his relapse back in February was a huge story in the world of baseball. Maybe it’s because outside of my sparkly gay existence, people really care about sports. Who knows? What I do know is that post still garners views and it’s been almost a year! I’m thankful that this unconventional post introduced me to a slew of new readers. I’m thankful for the emails and comments I received regarding the subject of relapse because of it. And I’m thankful that an ability to play the tape through today keeps me from a relapse of my own.

The way the media handles relapses of celebrities like Hamilton drives me crazy. There’s so much judgement and such a lack of compassion about the disease. The topic is still a hot one and I shared about my own struggle with relapse to try to make sense of it:

“Now I know nothing about Hamilton and his character. In fact, having me blog about baseball is a little like having a vegan describe the menu at Outback Steakhouse. But I do know about relapse. In 2008, I really tried to stay sober all by myself. Without any support or asking for help, I limped along in a state of miserable dryness. After 70 days, “I thought I got this.” Recently, I found an old journal from that time and I feel sorry for that guy. He was doomed to relapse. He was dry but he wasn’t recovering. I read this passage from the journal that nearly made me cry:

‘I’m trying to dodge bullets, trying to breathe, trying to still love life, trying to meet my problems full on and all the while I’m trying to figure out ‘Now What?’ Drinking was an issue and addiction is an issue for me. I’m trying to take it easy but I fear I’m hiding out.'”

Ouch. That journal entry still puts a lump in my throat  For the rest of my relapse tale as well as more on Josh Hamilton, hop on over to the most popular post of 2012, “Staying Out of Josh Hamilton’s Relapse” and celebrate the 11th day of Blogmas!

The Real World Sucks

I went to detox on Friday night. But unlike the handful of near death survivors who sat in the little community room at the city hospital with me, I got to go home. I was asked to speak and anytime anyone asks me to speak at a detox or rehab, I jump at the chance. Not only because they’re such captive audiences or because I’m a lot more hilarious to people in hospital gowns but because it is an honor. For some reason my daily drinking and rabid drug use didn’t kill me so I’ll happily show up for people who really need a laugh or little bit of hope. Too bad Joey Kovar didn’t get to live to do the same thing.

29 year-old  Joey Kovar, a cast member of MTV’s Real World: Hollywood and Celebrity Rehab, was found dead last Friday near Chicago. He was found with blood coming out of ears and nose. Drugs, of course, are suspected to be the cause of death. The real, Real World is a brutal place and checking out of it must have seemed like the only option for Joey. And that’s just how it ends for a reality star whose drug addiction and binge drinking made for great TV. No scads of celebrities Tweeting about how wonderful he was and no video montages of his finest moments. Just a big story on People.com and lame statement from MTV,who profited from his demons and then tossed him aside.  Kovar soon becomes the answer to a trivia question and the world at large moves on to talking about bigger things like Oprah’s interview with Rihanna.

Now I’m not saying that we should have a moment of silence for Kovar or name a street after him but his death does make me stop and think about how we honor the lives of addicts. For big stars like Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston, we dance around the fact that they were drug addicts and focus on their careers instead. For z-listers like Kovar, we act like we do when anyone dies from alcoholism or addition, like it’s a shame but we saw it coming. Really what pisses me off about celebrities who die from drug addiction is the missed opportunity we have to really talk about the disease at hand. We don’t honestly say to kids or even adults, “This famous person died because of their alcoholism and drug addition. It wasn’t heart problems or drowning or because an evil doctor gave them a prescription. They died because they were addicts.” Yeah I realize things haven’t changed since I bitched about this same issue when Whitney died a few months ago.

But what I can do is not shut up and not sit back and watch any more. Having watched the Real World in the past and Real Housewives and any other bullshit show that pretends to be real, I can safely say I’m over trotting out hot messes, giving them wine and letting the cameras roll for our amusement. Being a disaster isn’t entertaining or inspiring. I’m done contributing to the culture who awards drunken idiots by giving them TV shows. This isn’t to say I don’t love my Chopped or RuPaul’s Drag Race but I’m just not interested in sacrificing dignity for entertainment anymore. And besides making a meal out of sheep’s stomach or performing in 6 inch clear heels requires some actual talent.

Anyway, it’s a shame Joey didn’t get the chance to hang out with my friends on the fourth floor detox of the county hospital. No there wasn’t any cameras or designer gift bags or journalists from Extra. There was just a group of people fighting for their lives and hoping they could change. Talk about real. We’d never tune in to watch such a thing on cable TV.

Beaten by the Headlines

I work online. I research,write and ingest all of the headlines of the day. Most of the time, I do a pretty good job letting “the sky is falling” mania bounce off like bullets from Wonder Woman’s wristcuffs. But sometimes the barrage of crazy bullshit is enough to drive you to drink.

Theoretically speaking, of course. It’s been some time since anything or person drove me to take a drink. Thank God. As my life was going down in a flaming ball of alcoholic shit in 2008, I was obsessively watching the news. It was the election year. The threat of Prop. 8 loomed over California, where I was living at the time and every good LA liberal watched the batshit shenanigans of McCain and Company like a hawk. As if wringing our hands and complaining was going to stop nutty politicians or thwart homophobic legislation. Nevertheless, that’s what I did. Watched news all day and checked in online and drank. Alcohol was the fuel for the raging fire I had burning in my mind. This blaze told me the world was out of control and that I was right and everybody else was wrong and that things were going from bad to worse. At the time I thought I was contributing to a better world by getting upset and involved but I think I was just adding to the hysteria. Being of Irish and alcoholic descent, it is my civic duty to get riled up at the actions of politicians. No other politician did that trick than Sarah Palin. This dunderhead from Alaska who could see both Russia and a book deal from her house, pushed my buttons like no politician since W. In fact, I’d like to blame Sarah Palin for me hitting rock bottom but since I’m in recovery I’m not allowed to blame people anymore. Whatever. I joke, of course.

As it turns out, it wasn’t a world gone mad or even Sarah Palin that made me drink until I lost my mind and my home. I’m just an alcoholic. That’s what we do. As i got sober, my news intake was limited to basically zero. I remember watching Obama’s inauguration at only a few days sober. And then I didn’t turn on the news again until six months later when Michael Jackson died. My brain needed an info-break. And still needs it today. I have to power down and grab a book or go have a coffee without my laptop. I was prompted to write this after a crazy two weeks of depressing news and studies and political crap. It’s exhausting and I’ve hit my breaking point today.

In the end,I have to remember I can be a good person and care about the world I live in. And I can do all of that without turning on the news.

Depressing New Study on Gays & Addiction Proves What We Already Know

“Your people  sure do love margaritas!’ said the Argentinian lady I used to work for back in the mid-1990s. And she was right. The restaurant she owned was packed on the weekend with gays and lesbians just getting their drink on. Now, a new study from The Center for American Progress says that not only do “my people” love their cocktails but they are more prone to drug and alcohol abuse then our straight counterparts.

I talked about this months ago on these pages and have often wondered what, if any, is the correlation between LGBTs and addiction/alcoholism. Based on my own non-scientific yet vast field experience, I would ascertain that we queers are one cracked out, jacked up drunken mess of a group of people. But clearly I’m no researcher. I like to think of myself as more of a lab rat. Thankfully, this study which pulled data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and other studies,  did the real work. The organization claims “that an estimated 20-30% of gay and transgender Americans have abused substances, compared to 9% of the general public” according to TheFix.com. That staggering number confirms what the LGBT community has known for decades but refuses to talk about; addiction and alcoholism are killing thousands of gays and lesbians. So why, after all the knowledge we have about addiction does it continue to ravage the gay community? “The stress that comes from daily battles with discrimination and stigma is a principal driver of these higher rates of substance use, as gay and transgender people turn to tobacco, alcohol, and other substances as a way to cope with these challenges,” the report states. “And a lack of culturally competent health care services also fuels high substance-use rates among gay and transgender people.”  Gay and transgender folks, the study says, are also 200% more likely to smoke tobacco than hetrosexuals while gay men are 3.5 times more likely to smoke pot than straight guys.

I can’t begin to speak on the drinking and drug habits of all gay people. (Contrary to popular belief we don’t all know each other.) But for me personally, I read a survey like that and find those numbers to be right on in my own life. Drug abuse? Check. Alcoholism? Check. Smoking? Check. I’m not sure about the hypothesis of why gays and lesbians drink and drug more though. For me it was a combo of things. Being gay was one part but mainly I drank and used to escape, to get away from a person I hated–myself. I had a lot of shame and not all of it was centered on being gay. Ironically, my “battles with discrimination and stigma”,as the study calls them, were more inflamed while I was using. I don’t encounter that kind of resistance in my sober life but that’s a different study altogether. Personally, I don’t believe being gay or being the child of  an alcoholic or being bullied or having a high voice alone made me an alcoholic. It was all kind of written in the stars before I got here and it was up to me to either meet the challenges or not. But that’s my crazy ass beliefs. My hope is that gay leaders can look at this study and say “Our community has a problem. What do we do about it?” Ignoring it and having Absoult sponsor our gay Pride floats isn’t helping matters, in my opinion.

But what do you guys think? Does this study hold any water? Will it bring out much-needed honest conversation? Or are LGBTs doomed to a life of addiction? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section!

Maybe This Time I’ll Win

In the showstopper, heart-wrenching number “Maybe this Time” from Cabaret, Sally Bowles sings “Everybody loves a winner so nobody loves me.” Pardon me while I get all musical theater faggy on you but this Kander and Ebb song from 40 years ago couldn’t be more relevant to this addict especially when talking about the could-have been comeback of Lindsay Lohan.

In the days leading up to her appearance on Saturday Night Live, Lohan popped up all over NBC on shows like the Today show and Jimmy Fallon. Lohan was quick to tell Matt Lauer she was sober and that she knew she’d have a long road before folks trusted her again. But like a good little girl in recovery, she said she was ready to do the work. Policing a famous person’s sobriety is something I have no time for. I’m crazy enough on my own, thank you very much. But I have always rooted for the girl. And so have a lot of folks. That’s why when her hosting gig on SNL failed to blow folks out of the water, the press was eager to dub her the worst  host of the year. (which by the way would be subjective since that program stopped being funny right around the time Tina Fey left and hasn’t ever gotten it’s mojo back, in my opinion.)

Even though Lindsay has struggled in public to get sober I identify with wanting to prove yourself and wanting people to see you’ve changed even if you’re not totally ready. I went back to school in 2009 when I got sober. I wanted so badly to prove that I could finish and get a degree and make my life happen the way I thought people wanted it to. School in some ways was a total God send. It was great distraction from my hot mess of a life and I was able to work on things that interested me.  Yet 7 months into the education rejuvenation, I was thrown the curve ball of an HIV diagnosis and I also realized my drug and alcohol problems were deeper than I expected. This getting better thing had to become a full-time job. School was hard and need my full attention. And with figuring out meds, places to live and how to survive, it was tough to focus. I beat the crap out of myself because I had to take a break and get my life together– again. I wanted to prove to the planet that “Yes, Sean can finish things and be successful.” But the cold hard fact was, I wasn’t ready.

Thankfully, I became ready for bigger things as time went on. But I had to stop and move slower and realize all of this recovery stuff takes a really long freaking time. So Lindsay, wherever you’re at in sobriety, remember there’s always a next time. And if you hang in there, eventually, you’ll win.