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Through the Red Door Blog

In the early days of the Church, when the front door of the parish was painted red it was said to signify sanctuary – that the ground beyond these doors was holy, and anyone who entered through them was safe from harm.

In the lives of many recovering people, it is through these same red doors that sanctuary is found on a daily basis. Initially that sanctuary may not have started in the rooms with high vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, but in the basements and back rooms of churches where 12-step meetings are held.

This blog was created for recovering people to share the experiences they found walking through those doors of safety, refuge and peace.

To submit a entry to the blog, please click here for the details or contact us at info@episcopalrecovery.org.

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  • 03/26/2020 9:18 PM | Anonymous

    There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. -John Lennon

    How is your anxiety level?

    As I write this the nation is at the early stages of addressing the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants are either closed or have gone to offering drive thru or curb side services and have closed their dining rooms. Schools and institutes of higher education have stopped having classes on campus and transitioned to virtual education models. The news reports are warning of the stress that could be placed on our health care system should the virus impact us as it has Europe and Asia. Don’t even think about buying a roll of toilet paper or a bottle of Purell!

    As people in recovery, we have to take this situation seriously. In addition to the concerns about our health we have the reality that times of fear and stress are huge triggers that could impact our recovery. Where the danger occurs at this time is that we may be triggered both externally and internally.

    Internal triggers are emotions, false core beliefs, thoughts or self-talk. External triggers are people, events, relationships, information and environments. Both internal and external triggers move us closer to lapse or relapse, both of which are currently bombarding us. Something diabolical happens when our external triggers spark internal fear and anxiety. While the opportunity is there to act out in our addiction, the opportunity also exist to deepen our recovery. But it may require some effort. Here are a few thoughts…

    Extremes are not our Friends. People tend to be focused on extremes and either have over or under reacted. Ask your self if this describes you. One of the slogans I embrace in my recovery is “I am cautiously optimistic.” Remember that extreme or all or none thinking is a sign we are slipping into addiction.

    Focus on Facts not Fiction. Nothing helps us in recovery as much as truth telling. Talk to a doctor or health care professional about both how you feel and what is true about this pandemic. You cannot make a solid decision without educating yourself on the truth.

    Feel Your Feelings. Consider journalling your feelings during this time. Simply begin with the sentence, “Today I feel…” and finish it with everything that comes to mind. It is easier to deal with the emotional triggers once we actually write them down and recognize them. Download a Feelings Inventory if you have trouble getting a grip on what you actually feel. After seven years of recovery I still have to look at a handout of cartoon faces to figure out that ache in my gut is actually anger or loneliness.

    Remember your Program Tools. When we are activated we have a slew resources which can defuse our addictive energy. 12 Steppers can do a 4th and 5th Step. Those in Buddhist Recovery programs may choose to meditate. Religious based recoverees may pray or attend a virtual religious service. Each program of recovery provides tools and connections to manage our compulsive behaviors, now is a great time to use them!

    Stay Connected. Regardless of length in a recovery program, the simple tool of picking up the phone is one most of us can use to arrest feelings of anxiety. Others may be able to log into a virtual meeting recovery meeting offered by our programs. One surprise that has come from this event is the increase in online meetings! A friend told me, “It was reported that the hits to our website of people looking for online meetings has jumped from 800-1100/day to almost 12,000/day in the past week and is climbing.” Isolation does not have to mean we limit our interaction with others, it just means we have to be intentional and choose to exercise some muscles we never use.

    The last resource in our tool box is probably the most powerful. A recovering person who get this and lets it motivate his or her recovery will remain sober. It is the atom bomb that disarms anxiety and fear. It is a sure deterrent to the hopelessness we feel when the world is closing in. What is this weapon?


    As someone once told me, “Grateful addicts don’t use.” How true! Gratitude is the ultimate act of right sizing our lives, our thinking, and our perceptions. Everything around us may be going to hell in a hand basket, yet simply finding one thing to be grateful for can reorient our perspective. When we choose to be grateful we are choosing courage over fear and acting out of humility instead of ego. While I do not believe that everything happens in our life for a reason, gratitude allows us to bring purpose to even the most difficult circumstance.

    Even if that circumstance is a global pandemic.

    Gratefully in your service,

    Shane M

    Digging Deeper

    1.      Find a quiet place and take a few minutes to center yourself spiritually in a way that works for you. Now use a journal to finish the sentence, “Right now I feel…”

    2.      Highlight any emotion that may be triggering. Follow up by journalling about what is behind that emotion. Be specific. (example. Right now I feel fearful because I do not know what I will do if I lose my job over this virus outbreak.)

    3.      Try to identify any destructive or erroneous thoughts and record them in your journal. (example: Catastrophic Thinking - I am imagining that I know the out come of this and I do not. I am future projecting.)

    4.      Get honest by journalling what is driving that emotion and belief. (example: I wish I could control this and I can. I am struggling with letting go over something I have no control over whatsoever.)

    5.      Create an affirmation to replace that false belief with a better one. (example: I am choosing to not panic or give into fear. Instead I choose gratitude and surrender. I am not in control.)

    6.      Take time to journal a gratitude list. Go into detail about what, who and why you are thankful. (example: I am grateful for my daughter and son because they love me and support me in my effort to recover.)

    7.      Close your journaling time with a prayer or meditation expressing gratefulness for three things which enrich your life at this time.

  • 03/23/2020 11:26 AM | Anonymous

    I met a man named Scott* early in my 12-step program. He swore, a wicked-looking knife scar bisected his cheek, his arms were tattooed with some scary-looking ink, and he slouched, his dirty work boots stretched way too close to my personal space. Scott was a double winner, working programs on both sides of the hall. One program kept him alive, he claimed, while the second made him want to be alive. Scott went to more meetings than anybody I'd known before, and he joked about a special dislike for one particular topic: gratitude.

    The topic seemed to follow him. “I've been to two meetings on gratitude already this week,” he'd grumble. I know why he grumbled. Being grateful takes hard work and a willingness to see things differently. From him, and from others in my program, I've learned just how powerful gratitude can be.

    Making the effort to practice gratitude boosts my ability to identify and choose joy. I have to work at it, because my disease sometimes colors my perceptions and makes it difficult to see what's positive. It's almost magical: the circumstances causing me difficulty point the way to happiness. I may fuss and worry when my car breaks down, but the fact that I own a car is something for which I am very grateful. I love the freedom of riding down the road with the wind in my hair. As I learn to recognize joy, and welcome it into my life, everything improves.

    Gratitude also teaches me acceptance, and acceptance is the foundation of my serenity. Before I worked a program, I spent a lot of energy on denial. I believed if people would just do things my way, I'd be happy and successful. Accepting my inability to control people, places and things means I don't spin my wheels trying to force solutions. When I am grateful for what's in front of me, I'm accepting what's real and finding beauty and meaning in every corner of my life.

    When I am restless, irritated and discontent, gratitude is hard. I don't want the solution to my bad mood to be something easy and self-initiated. I get so wrapped up in my self-will, so attached to an external solution for what's bugging me. For some dark reason I don't fully understand, I sometimes reject the wisdom of this program and choose to be unhappy instead. But Scott knew: a scrawled list of gratitude, sometimes as simple as listing clean air to breathe and a roof over my head, turns that unhappiness upside-down. It never fails; I only have to make the choice. Gratitude is self-care, even when I do it without enthusiasm.

    The practice of gratitude is also a tool to improve my conscious contact with my HP. When I count my blessings, I see God at work in my life. I'm in relationship with my HP, secure in my place, aware of the care and comfort so freely offered. I'm so grateful for my friend Scott, and for the rooms where I learn how to live a better life.

    *not his real name

  • 03/11/2020 9:36 PM | Anonymous

    The season of Lent calls for an emphasis on strengthening and a renewal of the spirit-filled life and the call to seek the Will of God in all we do.   

    I was talking recently with a person who found the Program about the time I did and daily attended the same meeting, “St. X Noon.” We both remembered the faces which meant so much to both of us Rob, Mike, Dick, David, and so forth without their words, and depth of their feelings, we both acknowledged we may not have “made it.”

    Some time ago, a friend jokingly poked me, “Do you still go to ‘those meetings?’ to which I, who suffered the pain of a couple long-ago relapses, said, “If I don’t renew my AA Experiences each day, I weaken my Program and may find myself asking, ‘Gee, it’s been a long time, one won’t hurt. I don’t want to forget how close we all are to slipping back onto that merry-go-round called “addiction.’

    This is a harsh reality we all face. We must continue to search for an experience with the Program each day go to a meeting or two, a re-reading of a chapter in the Big Book, calling your sponsor and reaching out to someone looking for a sponsor, an active regular time for meditation, a time of quiet contemplation, or writing a hopefully enlightening meditation for a Program newsletter.

    This is the Christian time of Lent.  We strive to find a bit more quietness a time for meditation. Perhaps we attend services or special study gatherings at our church or parish.

    So, here’s to a happy Sobriety Date, remembering that each day we must quietly recognize our path to recovery and renew our commitment to the Program’s path.

    Jim A/Covington, Kentucky

  • 03/04/2020 7:42 PM | Anonymous

    In my primary recovery program, we have a list of 12 Signs of Recovery. I am always drawn to the third sign which reads…

    We surrender, one day at a time, our whole life strategy of, and our obsession with the pursuit of romantic and sexual intrigue and emotional dependency.”*

    My struggle with sex, love and pornography addiction was at a base level, a life strategy that never delivered on its promises. I truly believed that by drinking in the images on my computer, searching for the “right” person to be intimate with, and becoming emotionally involved with people who were emotionally unavailable, I would find the right formula to be happy. It was my life strategy and everything I did was designed to accommodate this. My addiction became a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. Regretfully the promised goal of happiness and validation was a mirage. Addiction promises paradise but delivers pain.

    Recovery has taught me that a new strategy of living is required to experience the serenity for which I was desperately looking. My new strategy involves a rigorous commitment to reality. I can no longer build my life around or upon an escape from reality. My recovery life/mental health is re-established when I am committed to reality at all costs.

    One way I do this is to frequently ask myself, what is my current reality? I find the answer is most easily uncovered as I inventory my feelings. After almost seven years of recovery, I still rely on a written list of feelings to help me identify the ones I am experiencing. Writing down my feelings of anger, shame, fear, loneliness, and others which are less toxic point me in the direction of reality. I am able to breathe, examine these feelings, sit with them and move through them…not avoid them, not numb them, not sit in them as a victim…move through them.

    When was the last time you inventoried your feelings? Grateful people in recovery are honest about their feelings, their character defects and as my friend says, lean into the sharp edges of what makes them uncomfortable.” Only by embracing our pain can we truly make a commitment to reality at all costs. That strategy is the antithesis of the illusion my addiction promises. But it is one that delivers on its promise of being restored to wholeness and sanity.

    This way of living reminds me of the words of the Apostle Paul that call me to embrace my humanness” as a pathway to strength.

    My grace is enough; it s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.”**

    When I return to my old way of living I deny the reality of grace at work in my life. It is the purest way to distance myself from the reality that is God. Denying God s grace is not a good strategy for living. Setting aside my ego, my pride, my plans, my self-promotion, my self-propulsion, my, my, my is the path to recovery.

    Just for today, I can get behind that strategy.

    Maybe you can too.

    Shane M

    Conway, Arkansas

    * S.L.A.A. Signs of Recovery © 1990 The Augustine Fellowship, S.L.A.A., Fellowship-Wide Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    ** 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

  • 02/26/2020 8:06 PM | Anonymous

    It’s a fundamental problem caused by our addiction. I might call it the excuse barrier. It’s a shifter – a shifter of blame, a shifter of fessing up, always blaming something else, or denying our perhaps long-term history of drunkenness. Did we really give the family or our kids or our employer our best? Some say the most damage is done to ourselves. We ignore honesty with ourselves. Oh, we may see some difficulties the morning-after. We may even cry and ask ourselves “Why do I continue riding this merry-go-round?” But that temporary immature childish self-pity is temporary. With the first reach for the bottle or the drug, poof, any slight vestige of responsibility disappears. We become children again. All we wish for is the silence of those around us who may once in a while “call us” on our alcoholic conduct and we respond with the usual: “I’m stressed. It was a mistake. I couldn’t sleep last night and that one drink threw me back into that old “Substance Briar Patch.” The worst excuse we may use is, “I don’t know what happened been going to an AA meeting but it doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m not as bad as some of those people. This time I’ll really try”

    The addict has developed over the years his or her own defenses and usually has a protective “think skin.” He has been through this before and knows what defense works. Often, the family contributes to the problem covering up and enabling you to continue, not forcing you to take responsibility until an ultimatum is presented. There’s no progress until the family takes responsibility for its non-actions or its silence or its cover-up. It’s a poison stew overcooking a bit more each day the conduct continues, and the family can’t take it anymore and the stew boils over. In some sense, the addict is a coward, pure and simple. Perhaps so is the family or the employer. Everyone avoids facing the addiction, erecting their own barriers to block it out. Each member of the family retreats into their own self for maybe each has found a way to ignore or block-out or forget or excuse the addict’s conduct. Learning to get away from the fear of the worst happening to the addict, or the embarrassment suffered from the drunken conduct of the alcoholic, who in desperation cries out: “I’m really going to try this time to take responsibility and work the Steps ... I really mean it.”

    The result is sadly usually the same if that is the only commitment the alcoholic makes.

    “There’s no trying, only doing”.      

    Jim A./Covington, KY

  • 02/21/2020 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    What combination of sobriety, scripture and liturgy am I going to write about for this blogpost?

    A new guy showed up at a meeting last week. The newcomer, a mechanic who had just gotten off work and who had half-moons of embedded grease under his fingernails and a patina of dust and sweat on his skin, had no idea what to expect. He knew he drank a pint of liquor and a dozen beers every night. He knew he had gotten into trouble with his family and with his boss, but he wasn’t in trouble with the law: he hadn’t lost his license or been arrested or ever been court-ordered to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. This was his first experience stepping into the halls.

    Up to the podium came the next speaker—a big guy, a larger-than-life biker—a scraggly-bearded forty-something man, all leather and tattoos and Harley logos. This speaker talked about what it had been like, what happened, and what it was like now. He talked about promises coming true. He wept when he spoke of his gratitude to Alcoholics Anonymous for giving him a “life second to none.”

    The newcomer turned to the stranger next to him and said, “I never knew there were other people who feel exactly the way I do.”

    And so the conversation began.

    At a retreat years ago, the priest said to those of us gathered there, “Conversion is gathering up the fragments of your life.”

    That is what sobriety is: it is conversion to a totally new way of life. Leaving nothing behind, being ashamed of no part of our story but accepting each misstep and each bad choice as essential, we speak—we tell the story that will someday save the life of another alcoholic as we speak from whatever podium we are standing at.

    And we are saved.

    We learn we are not alone. We learn to value ourselves and bring honor back into our lives. By acknowledging—not judging—our stories and ourselves, we learn to accept responsibility for our actions and for their consequences.

    As James writes in his epistle, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Although in our apostolic, Episcopal tradition only a priest can confer absolution,  James clearly states that the confession and the praying bring about the healing.

    Our Twelve Step fellowships are oases of healing in our sin-parched world.

    By speaking out loud and listening intently, we hear exactly what that newcomer heard: there are other people who feel exactly the way we do. More than anything, at meetings and through the wisdom of the program, each of us learns the truth that we are not alone. Not ever. Being sober means having our eyes opened more and more. Each day, each experience reveals to us another moment where we can see God within ourselves and in everyone else we meet along the way.

    Thanks be to God.

  • 02/12/2020 7:26 PM | Anonymous

    My understanding of my Higher Power can be as flexible as I want it to be. This idea made me acutely uncomfortable when I first encountered it. But it helps to place it within the framework of the story of the elephant and the blind men. One, touching the creature's tail, said “It's a rope-like beast, frayed at the end.” Another, catching hold of the elephant's trunk, cried “No, it's a thick snake.” A third, touching a tusk, declared the animal was smooth and hard, much like a spear.

    I am blind to all the wide world, with only a thimbleful of awareness about my own self at best. With my limited, all-too-human perceptions, I will never know the extent of my Higher Power, if I were to spend every day of the rest of my life trying. I still believe even to imagine I can fully comprehend Her is awfully presumptuous. But within the loving guidance of my twelve-step recovery group, I am encouraged to explore my understanding of the force I choose to call “God.”

    When I was new to the program, my sponsor told me I could borrow her Higher Power if I didn't have one already. If my own HP wasn't working for me, why not try another source? She also made an assignment that seemed remarkably forward: define the God of my understanding. The exercise was difficult and revealing. I discovered that the God I called on was all-loving, and all-knowing. But I didn't really believe this entity was all-powerful. My perceptions of the world's great pain and its effects on all living beings made it impossible to believe God had the power to end suffering.

    With my sponsor's help, and through the alchemy of the group's experience, strength and hope, I began to see how God's power permeates all of existence. A word in a meeting, a chance phone call, a stray beam of light: just the right thing, at the time I needed it most. I witnessed HP's strength lifting and sustaining my fellow 12-step members. I am beginning to see, dimly still, how pain and suffering differ: pain is a human condition and inescapable, but I can choose whether or not I suffer.

    Now, I have an ever-growing understanding of God, and I often envision myself as a simple electric plug. All I need to do to experience the power of God's grace is push the prongs into the outlet and the power flows through me, along with HP's limitless love and unbounded wisdom. But when that analogy fails me, as it probably will at some point, there is another perspective, another way to look at it that will carry me through the pain and relieve my suffering. My HP is all-powerful, and my life is touched by grace every moment I allow it to be so.

  • 02/05/2020 7:22 PM | Anonymous

    The gospel reading last Sunday was from Luke 2: the Presentation of Our Lord. Joseph and Mary present Jesus in the temple and there are two devout Wise Ones who bear witness to the event. They have each waited a long time, in their own ways, for this day. It has a profound, life changing impact on them.

    How many of us in our recovery have felt like Anna and Simeon waiting to see the Promised One? Anna, the aging widow prophetess, is in the temple the day Jesus is presented and declares this is the Child that will bring redemption. Simeon believed he would see the Lord’s Messiah before he died and, when he does, breaks into his own Magnificat. He affirms God’s dismissal of him in peace and declares his eyes have seen salvation.

    It feels like Anna and Simeon have been in recovery and have finally tasted sobriety.

    After the fourth time in detox. After three years of sobriety. After the second DUI. After 84 years of age, never leaving the temple and fasting and praying night and day. After waiting and waiting for the consolation of Israel, the Baby is placed in Simeon’s arms and he sees the light for revelation to the Gentiles! And sometimes the tremors stop and the drug dreams stop and we get a 30 day coin and then a 90 day coin and we, too, find glory!

    It would be easy to dismiss the hard work Anna and Simeon had to endure to see the redemption for Jerusalem. It would be easy to focus on the happy day in the temple when all is well and everyone goes home happy. But Anna is a widow and has endured loss and grief and it would be probable to assume Simeon is near death. And recovery isn’t about the end, is it?

    It’s about the process. Along the way things get messed up and a sword pierces your own soul. There are jobs lost and relationships destroyed and hospitalizations. And there are fallings and risings of many. There are fallings and risings of way too many.

    And there are late night phone calls to our sponsor and endless group sessions. We start keeping a gratitude journal and admitting our helplessness. We learn to breathe and trust a therapist. We make the 7am meeting. And another. And another.

    And, over time, the child within us grows and becomes strong. Sometimes we get moments of wisdom and the favor of God. Until one day…our eyes begin to see our own salvation.

    Deborah M. MA, LPC
    Lancaster, PA

  • 01/29/2020 7:29 PM | Anonymous

    “And they left for their country by another route.” This is a quotation from a gospel in which we are told the story of three wise men who came to seek the Messiah and afterwards they returned to their country by a different path.

    What has this got to do with AA and Recovery? A lot. At least from my viewpoint. I came into this program with all kind of opinions and “facts.” In my ignorance I believed I knew what I was letting myself into. After all, any idiot can stop drinking. It’s no big deal.

    What I learned was information I already knew but I did not understand it. And because I was too busy being a ‘big shot” I was missing everything I should have been learning. I had to begin a journey on a different route. What I needed was a “metanoia” a “change of heart.” It took almost five years of a dry drunk to get to this new road home.

    Coming into the tent of Alcoholics Anonymous led me to one group of 12 Steps and then I realized that I needed to visit another program – Alanon. If this was not enough, by the middle of my fourth year I was presented with the book Adult Children of Alcoholics and all of it applied to me.

    Over the years I have been active in A.A. I have, where appropriate, encouraged individuals to work an Alanon program. However, what I have come to realize is that the majority of us in A.A. grew up in homes where there was active addiction of one kind or another. We are literally adult children of alcoholics.

    Like the Wise Men, I was looking for something outstanding, something that was different. What I found was something simple; Go to meetings, Read the Big Book and Talk to your Sponsor (and don’t drink). It’s that simple- like a little child.

    As the child grew, his parents and others discovered his knowledge was such that it turned a religion on its head with simplicity; he made it make a difference, not in the world of politics or international relations, but rather within oneself.

    Bill Wilson discovered that by talking to other drunks he did not drink. Then he met one who believed him and then another. Over the next few years, others joined them from around the country. Sharing their experience, strength and hope they discovered that this included “house-cleaning,” making amends, learning humility, finding a Higher Power, helping others. And as the numbers grew and the program grew like an Irish family, there was needed Traditions and modes of operation.

    “Keep it simple” became the mode of operation. The road I had been looking for was one in which “I” would be center stage; one in which “I” would not only be important but also indispensable.

    The road by which I returned was one of humility. I needed to learn to ask for directions. I learned to ask for help. This was a much different road than the selfish and self-centered road I had walked most of my life, even long before I picked up that first drink.

    The road by which I returned to find myself was filled with wounded-healers who knew how I felt, knew how I thought, accepted me long before I accepted myself, forgave myself or loved myself.

    The road by which I returned was not religious but spiritual, filled with life and love, compassion and understanding.

    I came looking for a Bonfire and found a match that lit a fire within me; it slowly burned till it ignited and let me see the light that was already there. Such was the joy I discovered and wanted to sing “Go tell it on the mountain” but all that was needed was to say “I’ve been there. I know how you feel. Tell me how I can help you.”

    Séamus D.  is an Episcopal priest in the Greater New Orleans area.

  • 01/22/2020 7:19 PM | Anonymous

    I knew I was an alcoholic pretty early, I think. I started young and I loved alcohol from the first taste. It was very hard to drink without eventually blacking out. I knew I couldn’t drink like other people, though I could pretend pretty well in public because I got quiet once I was drunk. I usually drank at home, though, and I drank a heck of a lot. The upside of this was that I never got myself a bad reputation as a sloppy, reckless drunk. The problem with this was that, once I went into recovery, many people in my life looked at me like I was a melodramatic teenager.

    “Oh please,” they said. “You don’t even know what a real alcoholic looks like. Just have a damned glass of wine already.” Or “Don’t you think you’re going a little overboard with this stuff? It’s not like you lost your job or anything. I think you’re just being a little oversensitive.” Best yet was the eye roll coupled with, “You don’t go to those meetings do you?”

    Well, those meetings were the only place where I was truly understood and believed. People like me sat in those basements with cups of coffee passing out coins and putting dollar bills in a basket. They shared stories like mine. I could share my story and people would know that alcohol is poison to me and that I have a disease just like they do. They told me time and time again not to drink and to stick to my program. I felt heard.

    I was drinking myself into oblivion when I first stopped. I had visited a psychiatrist and told him that I was drinking a liter and a half a night and had consumed about 25 drinks at a party the night before- I didn’t think anything of it. I mean, this is what people do, isn’t it? Well he did think something of it. I was diagnosed with Alcohol Dependence and sent to AA.

    I have bipolar disorder which was part of what I was numbing with my alcohol use. After I quit the first time, I later relapsed and attempted suicide... two separate times while impaired. Some people in my life still aren’t convinced that drinking is deadly for me. Eye rolls and sighs. “Just have a drink already.”

    I have wondered if I make these folks uncomfortable on some level. Part of me feels badly about that, but part of me knows I can’t take responsibility for their feelings if that’s what’s going on. I don’t stand on a table and preach about the dangers of alcohol. I don’t lecture anyone. I don’t ask anyone else to not drink. I just quietly ask for a Diet Coke with lime and carry on with my life.

    If I’m going to keep this up, I need these rooms and I need my fellow alcoholics. We understand each other. I know that I’m never going to be seen as a drama queen for walking through those doors. I’ll be welcomed with open arms.

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