From the April 2015 magazine.

Part of something big

How her dream to have a meaningful life became something to really cheer about

When I got sober 25 years ago, I was working at a state capitol building in the northeast. It was my dream job and I was in the process of applying to law schools. Yet on many days it was becoming increasingly difficult to get to work because of my drinking. Although I was a good worker when I showed up at the office, my duties also required me to attend evening events with free-flowing alcohol. I went into these soirées the vision of professionalism. I would dress up classy, smile and laugh at peoples’ jokes, but in a short time I’d start to stagger and slur and everything would slowly fade into a blackout. Often, I’d leave and go to my usual watering holes on my way home. Not a pretty sight; not my ticket to the top. After I came into AA I found that it was not a job I could handle with my newly found sobriety.

But once I got sober, I began what I was sure would be my meteoric rise. The governor was running for president; I was in the senate chambers when he announced his vice presidential running mate on national television. There was much cheering and fanfare, which was almost as intoxicating as alcohol—and I wanted more. There were these red, white and blue boater hats; I wasn’t high up enough on the career ladder then to get one. But I swore that someday I’d be up that ladder and wear one of those hats. Everyone, including me, planned on riding coattails into Washington, but it wasn’t to be: the governor lost the election, and my ego was about to take a huge beating.

-- Allison D.

Glenside, Pennsylvania

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