From the October 2012 magazine.

October 2012: Gay, Joyous and Free

She found a safe place to get sober—and finally be herself

Coming to terms with my own sexual identity as a lesbian was at the heart of my alcoholism. I knew from a very early age that I liked girls in the same way that boys liked girls. Growing up in the ’60s and becoming a teen in the ’70s was not yet a safe time period to reveal my true sexual orientation. Alcohol offered me an illusory relief—a way to drown the secret, sinful feelings and keep them down under. This became a vicious cycle: each crush on a woman was doused in booze; each bout of drinking jumbled my thinking and found me confusing benign friendly gestures by female friends as something more, perhaps even romantic. I would “act out” sexually and quite promiscuously with men I met in bars, all the while fantasizing about women—and the drinking progressed.

My first relationship with a woman occurred just six weeks before I got sober. Interestingly enough, I met her when she was in the beginning of a relapse after having been sober for seven years. It was a disaster in the making, yet there was a divine orchestration underneath: put two alcoholics together and watch their drinking double! My Higher Power put her in my path, I believe, to bring me swiftly to my bottom. Within a few months, she too would seek sobriety.

-- K.A.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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