Chuck, you truly made my heart sing while I was reading that, and a few tears of joy too.
Mindy F.

I love the title Official Recovery Advocate — that’s awesome. I called myself the Gluten Evangelist when I first discovered I was intolerant and realized it was responsible for a lifetime of headaches. Every time someone complained about an ailment they couldn’t account for I was like, “Let me tell you about my gluten story…”

I am right there with you, I have no one to really discuss stuff with at all. Everything that everyone around me wants to talk about comes from the front page of MSN or Yahoo, or some entertainment website. I’m sorry, but I don’t care what Kim Kardashian wore last night, I’d rather hear how you made it through the day in one piece or got through a tough situation.

I lied — I’m not sorry.

I’m not big on the whole AA thing, although I feel strongly that, if that’s what works for you, then that’s what you should do. But, that means I don’t have anyone else to bounce off and there are times when I feel the weight of that empty space. It’s nice to bump into someone who is in the same boat.

I don’t need a pat on the back for getting through a day sober, that’s not what talking openly about. It’s a reassurance thing, it’s about the comfort in knowing you’re not alone in the game. It’s about someone else getting it right, and asking how they did it.

I think your comment about recovering outloud is one of the best things I’ve ever heard anyone say. I’ve been telling people for years that I think the biggest contributing factor in my ability to stay on the path is my willingness to be open about it. I’ve been trying to get my brother to understand that for 15 years, but he’s silent, and a trainwreck.

One of the people around me that I most appreciate is a girl I work with, who is about 15 years younger than me. As always, shortly after we started to work together my sobriety came up in conversation. She surprised me with her reaction, it was like I had nothing more going on than a hangnail.

She will even make wisecracks and jokes about drinking and addiction when everyone else avoids the subject and suddenly refuses to make eye contact. I love that she’s that aware that it’s no big deal, it’s just part of life and life goes on. I say it’s no big deal but I know you know I mean by that.

If I had a heart condition I’d have an oxygen bottle I dragged around with me, but I don’t. I have a drinking and drug problem and drag a simple explanation around with me.

Amazing that, of the two, it’s the explanation that generates more unease.

I was saying “I don’t want to drag this out” but I’m enjoying the contact with you so much that I’m closing with “Talk to you soon…”

Hope that’s Ok!

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