I began drinking alcohol at age 17 and continued doing so socially throughout college and into graduate school. I drank with friends more than I drank alone, and I usually had more than everyone else. I cut back a few times, but I always returned to drinking.
When I got married, my wife and I had margaritas and wine, and I drank beer on the weekends. I also exercised, rode my bike in the mountains of Virginia, and figured all was right with the world. People worked hard, played hard, and drank in the evenings and on the weekend. I was an adult, after all. I wasn’t hurting anybody.
Shortly after we moved South, I began buying pints of vodka, hiding them in the freezer and drinking them alone. Stress from work grew, and I found relief in alcohol. I drank in front of my wife, but I also hid a lot of my drinking.
This pattern would continue off and on for the next ten years until my life became, as the Big Book says, unmanageable. My marriage was in dire straits, my work suffered, and my children were more used to seeing their father intoxicated than sober.
So I got help. I checked myself into a treatment center for an eight-week program. I spent two weeks meeting during the day with counselors and fellow addicts and alcoholics, and then I attended six weeks of evening classes. I made one-year sober on January 5, 2016, and continue my commitment to sobriety.