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.



Reinventing Myself in Healthy Ways

4 thoughts on “Reinventing Myself in Healthy Ways

  • January 4, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    This is SO similar to my experience! My very first drunk was a blackout drunk and my 15-year old self pursued that feeling again and again. It’s amazing we are both sober and living healthy, happy lives. I have never thought about “embracing the little girl who lived for intoxication.” Maybe that’s the next step of healing. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy New Year!!

  • January 4, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Cynthia – I got chills and misty eyes to envision you today embracing that beautiful little girl who was on a mission way back when. I relate so much to that young girl who is lucky to have you nurture her today…. and I’m lucky to have you as a role model with your 29 years… (Do you consider yourself an “old timer?” – you don’t look like one but you do have the wisdom of the ages…) and as I like to say to at birthday meetings – you are off to a wonderful start. I love the spiritual journey we get to be on and how every day and every year really is as much of a new beginning as we want, need, or allow it to be . I applaud your commitments and look forward to sharing another new year with you…One day at a time. xo

  • January 17, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Hello, my name is Beth and I’m an alcoholic. I say that freely because, one it’s true, and two I’m comfortable in my recovery of a little over 4 years. I read the article in VCReporter and found your blog. Thank you for being there for us.

    • January 18, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Hi Beth – so appreciative of you comment and presence here – glad to hear your voice. I’m with you -I say it freely because it is a big part of who I am and as long as I don’t drink, I can easily own it. I have a healthy respect for the power of my alcholism, just as I do with the power of gravity for example – or electricity… as long as I stay aware of it and act accordingly, life is good!


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