To stop drinking takes work (“True Confession,” Alumni POV, March/April). It’s well and good to “confess,” it’s another thing entirely to work at sobriety. In life it’s often necessary to swallow one’s distaste for what seems an arbitrary ritual and instead to take action with the help of one of several tools. One is to tell one’s drinking story over and over again.
Interestingly, it changes. Members of the Alcoholics Anonymous fellowship call this not confessing but sharing.
I was a practicing alcoholic for twenty-six years, until the day in 1986 when I went to my first AA meeting. Today I’ve been a recovering alcoholic for twenty-eight years. Still, my most frequent response when asked what I want to drink is “whiskey.” I intend not to drink whiskey one day at a time.
Another tool is using 24/7 the support of a fellow alcoholic in recovery—a sponsor. My first AA sponsor advocated learning to “flounder comfortably in a sea of tranquility.” Working at what AA members work at, Kent Roberts ’00 can find the tranquility he obviously seeks. It will not necessarily make him comfortable, but I guarantee that he will no longer feel humiliated or pathetic.
Penny Pickett ’71 AM,’73 PhD
In late March, Kent Roberts posted an update on the BAM website: “It’s probably worth sharing that I have now been off alcohol for eighty days. I have a continuing commitment to my parents that I will go to rehab if I ever have another drink.” —Editor