Sobriety is the best defense –
August 26, 2020 – For this superpower, I have to thank Alcoholics Anonymous. I joined AA at 19 mostly because I loved cocaine, truly loved cocaine, but also because I loved vodka and cheap white wine and diet pills and valium in enormous quantities. I wanted to not die, so joining was an easy decision, helped along by the knowledge that I came from a family of female alcoholics: My mother had written novels about her drinking, and my grandmother was famous for her drunken vomiting at various fine restaurants throughout Manhattan. So, on November 1, 1997, I boarded a plane for the Hazelden treatment center in Minnesota. Soon after, I began attending AA meetings, which I still attend to this day, though on Zoom right now.
Like so many things in AA, the “One day at a time” mantra seemed nonsensical at first and later became gospel. Thinking I can’t have a drink ever again or even I can’t have a drink this week is sometimes too much, but I can’t have a drink today is manageable. Over the past 23 years, I’ve worked to trick my brain into staying in the moment, and not dwelling on the future or the past.