Further Reading

Does God or self cause remission?

Can I drink moderately now because of God or greater maturity?


I am a 30 year old female, who began drinking at age 13 due to my parents' divorce and issues of insecurity I have always had. As a child, I was repeatedly told that I was an "oops" baby and my mom was so depressed she didn't want me. Through my high school years, she was young and pursuing relationships with men in other states, while my father was pursuing a demanding career as an attorney and drinking heavily. As a result of the problems we have had, my sister is confused in her sexuality and I developed a substance abuse problem. Alcohol was always there and in high school, the "in crowd" (which I was in) was always trying to see how "messed up" on ecstasy, beer, or coke, they could get.

I never learned or even tried to drink moderately. I wanted to be the life of the party always, so I drank to where I would black out. I would sometimes get belligerent drinking hard alcohol (which I never touch now) and so I ended up with two public intoxications (age 17 and 19) and two DWI's (age 21 and 26). During these years, I was involved in very chaotic romantic relationships, very sick ones! Very dependent relationships with men far my inferior. I was in law school dating a drug dealer who didn't have a job or a car and in high school and college, I was top of my class, cheerleader, student council.

Anyway, I started AA 4 years ago and had been completely sober 3 years, but hated the idea that the rest of my life would be spent in "those rooms." During this time, I developed an intense spiritual and person relationship with Jesus Christ and saw miracles performed in my life. I had never had faith before this time.

This year, I have had a couple of brief relapses with diet pills (for my weight), xanax (anxiety), and drinking on a couple of occasions. The main problem now is most of the people closest to me think I am an alcoholic and can never drink again, but I feel that as I mature and become stronger in God, the desire to get drunk just is not there. I do have the desire to fit in with other attorneys I work with and to have a means of relaxation occasionally, but for the most part, I don't have the desire to be hung over or tired, so I don't do it. I'm also now married, have a great job, and an 18 month old baby boy, and just bought a home.

I feel that the reason I always drank was insecurity and low self esteem. I used to think I'd never find a husband or have my dreams come true. Now, they have come true, though there is always more. But, the main thing I attribute to being able to moderate now is my relationship with God and maturity. Would you agree with this assessment?


Dear Sue:

You give several reasons you feel your drunk drinking is behind you -- maturity, greater personal security, marriage, a baby, God/spirituality, better self esteem, career accomplishment, peer acceptance.

I think all of the above.