From the September 2005 magazine.

Where's My Reward?

Sober twelve years, an AA wonders when she'll get the big pay-off

This coming October will mark my twelfth year of sobriety, but even with the passage of time, the inner demons of the alcoholic mind don't roll over and die that easily.

As my AA birthday draws near, a lot of old stuff has been coming up, a lot of thoughts and feelings that I associate with my alcoholic identity. There's a mindset around drinking that still haunts me from time to time, and that's the whole "reward" aspect. I so clearly remember being twenty-four years old and driving home from my receptionist job over the canyon on a Friday night thinking, Yep, I put in a good week and now it's time to party! I'd stop off and pick up a twelve-pack of my favorite beer and that would be the beginning of yet another lost weekend. It was my reward for having trudged through all those days. My own personal pat on the back that I couldn't seem to reach any other way.

-- Christine P.

North Hollywood, California

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