Today, we have a sweet article from our managing editor, Cynthia Cavalcanti. Perfect for the New Year!
In gratitude, harmony, and support,
Reinventing Myself in Healthy Ways
by Cynthia Cavalcanti
I started drinking alcoholically on New Year’s Eve, 1974. I was 13 years (and three months) old.
I had taken a drink many times before. A sip of wine from Mom’s glass, a few drops of champagne for a toast, a bit of watered-down scotch from my uncle’s tumbler once he nodded off––that kind of thing.
But the first time I “got drunk” was 12/31/74. I was at my best friend’s house, and we raided her parents’ bar. And I do mean raided. Marauded might be closer to the truth.
In the new year that followed, 1975, I reinvented myself. I was a teenager. I started training and showing horses. I was secretly learning to drive a car. And I was a drinker.
That’s how I thought of myself––like some of the men about whom my parents would say, “Oh, yeah, he’s a drinker.” They didn’t use the word “alcoholic” much. Drinker was so much nicer.
As a drinker, and an underage one at that, my mission in life was to procure alcohol. Always on alert, ever stealthy.
My best friend and I worked out a system for stealing her parents’ liquor and adding water to the bottles. We thought we were brilliant.
My parents drank wine, but only on occasion. As such, I trained myself to anticipate those occasions and be prepared to guzzle anything I could get my hands on.
At horse shows, beer and booze flowed freely. The adults always shared generously.
As a last resort, I would bribe one of the 18-year-old seniors at my school. They thought I was cute, so they took my money and returned with vodka.
That was my life until I came of age. Find alcohol. Drink alcohol. Repeat.
I dreamed of the day I could purchase my own alcohol legally. No more dry spells, I imagined.
Fast forward to the new year 2018. I am a sober woman with 29 years in AA. I am a spiritual woman with with a purpose. Life is good, and getting better all the time.
This time of year, I think back to the little girl who lived for intoxication. I embrace her with love and compassion. She will always be a part of me––part of who I am and who I am becoming.
As a sober woman, my heart is big enough to nurture that part of myself as I continue to grow. My spiritual programs––AA and Science of Mind––support me to reinvent myself in healthy ways and in the company of others who are there for me.
This year, I am reinventing myself as the woman who runs a little faster, sleeps a little better, laughs a little louder, and reaches out for help a little sooner. These are not resolutions, but, rather, commitments to my freedom and happiness. One day at a time.