I am not at all ashamed to admit that I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m also bipolar.
While my chronic mood condition was part of what pushed me to quit drinking, there were various other red flags along the way, including blackouts, financial struggles, problems at work, regretting things I’d said or done while under the influence and, perhaps the biggest one of all, the desire to drink as much as I possibly could during almost any time there was an availability of alcohol. I loved to drink to get drunk.
I’ve been sober now for almost eight months. For me, it was a matter of “keep drinking and continue to struggle through life” or “quit drinking and achieve your goals.”
I went to one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, shared my story, and realized I didn’t need to go back. I wasn’t above it. I just didn’t need group therapy. I needed self, on-demand therapy.
A website I stumbled upon last summer, The Fix, has been my virtual AA meeting if you will, and one that I can follow on Twitter. It’s been a way for me to read about other peoples’ bouts with addictions — everything from alcohol and cocaine to pain meds and gambling — and how they have coped, struggled, failed and gotten by. It has fascinating research, polls and studies. Did you know there is work being done in other countries on a vaccine for alcoholism?
It’s loaded with fascinating features like “The 10 Hardest Drugs to Kick,” “What Really Goes on Inside Rehab” and “Are E-Cigarettes the Solution?”
It has stories about recovering celebrities, mentioning in an article about Steven Tyler that the Aerosmith singer admitted to spending somewhere between five and six million dollars on drugs in his lifetime.
The site is user friendly and easy to navigate, with sections such as “Rehab Reviews,” “Ask an Expert” and “Sober Living.” Traveling and need to catch an AA meeting on the road? You can be sure to get help finding a group on thefix.com.
If you’re an addict in search of help, check it out. If you’re curious about addiction and recovery, check it out. If you’re bored and want some good, eye-opening reads, check it out. I’m not being paid to promote it, I just think it’s a great site for mental health and well-being.
It has, after all, helped me along my path of sobriety.
Perhaps what I like most about the site, though, is its unabashed penchant for telling it like it is. The Fix doesn’t sugarcoat anything. And why should it? The path to sobriety is lined with plenty of bottles, cans, needles, nose bleeds, bankruptcy, kicking, screaming and regrets. As its subtitle suggests, it’s addiction and recovery, straight up.
Follow The Fix on Twitter @_TheFix or follow me @walt_walters. (I retweet the site’s best tweets.)