From the August 2011 magazine.

Sober Sailor

A seafaring man finds sobriety and the greatest adventure of his life in AA

Photo by Tommy C.

I was born with a wanderlust that could only be slacked by going to sea. My childhood dreams always involved traveling the world in search of great adventure. It's not surprising that I took to the drink as naturally as I took to the sea. My first voyages coincided with my first drinking at age 18. My last drink was at age 28 and my last voyage? Well, at age 65, I haven't had that yet.

The progression from heavy drinker to hard drinker and ultimately into alcoholic drinker was rapid because the only way I knew to drink was up. I simply drank it up. Whatever it was, wherever it was, once I got started, I drank until something happened to stop me. Either the money ran out or the bar closed. I was kicked out or passed out. It took something from the outside acting on me to get me stopped. Once stopped though, I could stay stopped for a while, usually just long enough to get another pocket of money or get people off my back. A week, or two weeks would pass then something would come along calling for celebration and I would take that first drink. For an alcoholic, there was always something to celebrate.

-- Tommy C.

Port Angeles, Washington

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