Paula: I took my first drink when I was 12 years old. I had a very bad, abusive childhood and alcohol made me feel like an adult… like I was bulletproof. I’ve been in treatment twice and I’ve been in and out of 12 step programs for the last 26 years. I just can’t seem to maintain any period of sobriety. 

I’ve been sober for 2 years now, but these last 6 months have been hell. I quit going to meetings when I got involved with somebody. Last Sunday I threw him out.  I always fall back into drinking when I stop going to meetings. I isolate myself really, really bad. I’m kinda isolating now, ya know? I’ve been in that trailer since Sunday. I said to myself, “if one more person tells me, ‘Happy Valentines Day’, I’m gonna slap the shit out of them.”

BW: *laughing* I hear ya’.

Paula:  I stopped drinking two years ago on Valentine’s day. My husband was  with another woman. I told myself that if I drank that day then I would have gone over there and killed him because I’m a violent drunk. 

Here I am, 2 years later, upset because my boyfriend left me for another woman but nothing is as bad as how it was. This pain is nothing compared to what I went through getting sober. I’m not going to let this asshole take me back to that. I’m better off without him. I didn’t get sober to be miserable. 


BW: I know what you mean. There’s nothing more painful than going back to that.

What are you grateful for?

Paula: I’m grateful for that roof over my head. I got a comfortable bed, food to eat, and a job. I’m really grateful for my friends. 

I think I’m going to wash my hair, put on too much makeup and some nice clothes, and go to a meeting.