My name is Tom and I’m an alcoholic.   I’m guessing I have said that line over 2500 times since my date of sobriety, June 6, 2004.   Simply put I’m a drunk.  I don’t drink like normal people.   I have been asked by Meghan’s ARMY to contribute to their on line blog about addiction.   Sort of a journey about my addiction and recovery.   A before, during and after blog or what we in AA call our experiences, strengths and hopes.  Let me get one point across real quick.  I’m addicted to alcohol and will call myself an addict and my disease addiction.   My drug of choice is alcohol.   Some people in AA won’t like this.  They feel calling myself an addict demeans my disease and our fellowship.  Many drug addicts seem to think they’re somehow worse off or more hard core than me because I didn’t smoke crack, meth or shoot heroin.  Tough shit.  I’m going with addict so just deal with it.   Hopefully over time I’ll help you see it really doesn’t make a difference what you call it.

In the real world I’m a senior partner in a well-established law firm in Southeast Michigan.   I do pretty well.  I’m not telling you this to brag.  I’m telling you this because addiction doesn’t give a damn about your place in societal norms.   Addiction does not care about the following:  financial status, race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, food preferences or allergies, physical disabilities, etc.  If your life sucks, oh well.  If you’re next in line to be our future president, oh well.  Your parents beat you, spouse is a cheating bitch, kids are criminals or worse, and work sucks, oh well.  It just doesn’t care.  Addiction is non-discrimination in its purest form.

Technically speaking addiction is a chronic, fatal disease.  Once you have it it’s not going away.   Ever.   Let me repeat that – Ever.   There are no cures.  Only programs of recovery will help you get along in life without the need for that next pill, fix, toke or drink.   Recovery takes work and is a lifelong process.    If you don’t want to do the work the fatal part of the disease will help you get out of it.

You’ve probably noticed I have humanized addiction.   My addict is in me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  If you’re an addict you’re in the same boat too.  If you’re trying to help an addict they are too.  Sort of a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde approach to life.  It never ever goes away and you’re going to have to accept this fact if you want to rid yourself of active addiction.    I am a recovering addict,  not a recovered addict, and will be for life.  Honestly it took a while for me to accept this but once I did the value I placed on my life and my time on spaceship earth got way better than it ever was before.   Shit still happens that I don’t like but I deal with it without the use of alcohol or drugs (this is a topic in itself).

Well I think I have said enough for now.  Besides fellow AAs very few people will have heard what I may drop on you.  I’m sorry if at times I’m dark, brutally frank and that I swear.  But I am who I am and if I fake it I’m just being my old addictive self without the booze.  This stuff is not always easy for me to address.  In fact it can be exhausting.  If you’re an addict you know what I mean.   I’m not a know it all and if I come across like that I apologize.  However I’ve been dealing with my addiction for over 20 years including 3 stints in rehab, a near fatal two year relapse and the privilege of attending approximately 15 alcohol or drug related funerals.  As we trudge through my journey and perhaps yours I’m hoping we will all get something out of this.  It’s a selfish disease and a selfish program of recovery (another topic of discussion).  I’m open for any suggestions or topics you may want to address too.  Besides cannibalism I’ve seen, heard or lived it if it pertains to addiction.  I’m an open book and will do my best to help you.  Promise.