Me and My Fatal Disease

If it were up to my disease, I would be dead by now.

I’m an alcoholic, and, today, I am celebrating twenty-three years of continuous sobriety.

The one thing I want you to know about my alcoholism is that it really and truly wasn’t supposed to happen to me. In fact, I had a strategic plan that I wrote for myself at the age of nine that would ensure that it wouldn’t happen to me. That plan involved “good”ness. Good grades. Good behavior. That sort of thing.

The damnest thing is this – alcoholism doesn’t care how good I am. (click to tweet)

Alcoholism doesn’t care how bright you are, either. It doesn’t care what color you are, how much money you make, whom you sleep with, where you went to school.

If it can, it’s gonna kill you.

Here at Life After Tampons, our number one purpose is to help any woman who wants to change her life find the tools, resources, community, inspiration, and hope she needs to make that happen.

If you are an alcoholic, or if you or a loved one is suffering from any other addiction, you will not be able to make any meaningful or lasting changes to your life until you deal with this problem first.

I would consider it a tremendous gift if my story gives you the strength you need to get some help.

Please, if my story speaks to you, STOP PRETENDING. (click to tweet)

Reach out. Now. Today. In fact, don’t even bother to read the rest of this before you do so.

I’m profoundly grateful. For my sobriety. For the ones who have come before and shown me the way up and out.

And, as always, for Beautiful You. You are SO WORTH loving!

Yours In Sobriety,

Photo: Flickr, puuikibeach

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33 Responses to Me and My Fatal Disease

  1. carol L says:

    Congratulations on 23 years! I am grateful for my sobriety too!

  2. Kama says:

    Powerful post Jen. Thank you for sharing. As someone who has worked as a counsellor in the field of drug and alcohol I realise how important it is for others to know they are not alone and that they can live a better life. You are so right alcoholism can hit anyone at any time.

    I second your voice by saying to others speak up, ask for help, there are people out there who can help without judging. You are worth so much more.

    Congratulations on 23 years of sobriety! The world is a better place with you here x

  3. Jill says:

    Congratulations and thank you for LAT – you are making a difference to me – Thank you

  4. Carmel Waldron says:

    Congratulations we are so blessed to have you as a part of our Family. Love Hugs and Peace for today and always.

  5. Congratulations! Thank you for writing about the disease of alcoholism. I am a psychoanalyst and an addictions counselor. As you know, alcoholic women are often “protected” from treatment by their spouses and loved ones. Thank you for your clear, honest voice! And thank you for your blog, and in particular, for “Me and My Fatal Disease”. More, more!

  6. Ann Marie says:

    Congratulations on 23 years, a day at a time. And thank you for your service to the ever-growing LATvian community. <3

  7. Cindy says:

    Congratulations on 23 years of sobriety.

  8. Carol Hess says:

    Congratulations on your 23-year anniversary, Jen! I can appreciate how important it is to you because I’m coming up on 15 years myself. I’m also watching someone right now struggle with the disease. I’m hopeful the person will surrender and get the help they need, but it’s still not clear if that will happen. I pray it will. Happy, joyous, and free — the only way to go!

  9. Patty D says:

    Congratulations on 23 years of sobriety. Thanks for making it count <3

  10. Jenny Smith says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Jen! One day at a time (sometimes 15 minutes at a time) I have 36 years. It’s been the best gift I have ever given myself. For any woman who is struggling, please, please reach out for help. It is there and you won’t believe what glorious things are in store for you! We share our experience, strength and support and welcome you with open arms. Our hearts have been hurt, too, so we speak your language.

  11. Teresa says:

    Congratulations gorgeous!
    I’m very happy for you and your family and the world.

    We are so lucky to have your presence, honesty, humor and brevity!

    It’s an honor to share this special moment with you today.
    I wish you each day forward, all the strength, love, support you deserve, to continue another twenty-three years of sobriety. ♥

  12. Louise (from Thelma & Louise) says:

    Congrats on 23 years!

    It was never on my top 100 things to aspire to be either!

    Recovery has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but my life (and those around me) is SO much better because of it!

    A Sister in Sobriety

  13. Bonnie says:

    Thank you Jennifer for sharing this with us and congratulations on your anniversary of exhibiting such incredible courage to look within and make the decision to be the person your soul truly meant you to be. Without that decision, you may not be here for “us” your internet sisters! Sharing this with us gives me hope – yes, hope and makes me realize that the dragons I claim to slay are small compared to what you met – and you won! You are one amazing ‘sister!’

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, love. I so appreciate your message but have found that comparing our challenges can be tricky. Sometimes it can make me separated from you rather than connected. When I share my challenges and hear yours i think about the commonalities of the Human Experience. We are more alike than different. Blessings. J

  14. SherriS. says:

    Congratulations for an amazing accomplishment!

  15. Jennifer,

    We are so blessed to have you share your life with us. Congratulations on an amazing 23 years of sobriety.

    It’s very easy to share the skipping-through-the-meadows moments with folks, but admitting that you struggled in the deep and dark places takes courage. And yet, it’s exactly what gives hope and encouragement to the rest of us because for sure we are all going through (and have been through) something.

    No matter what path our lives take we are guaranteed to have hurts, adversities and trials even when we are “good” and have those perfect life plans drawn up. I’m so grateful that we are in a time where it’s not okay to keep alcoholism, abuse and other horrid human acts hidden, a time when stepping forward is the start of getting help and stopping the pain that destroys everyone involved.

    Every time the news discloses another bunch of officials who knew about abuse of children, such as with the Boy Scouts recently, my heart aches for those kids who suffered regular abuse for decades because no one made the right moves to stop it. Documenting abuse, filing it and letting the perpetrators go on to new victims just makes those officials culpable.

    None of us are safe from alcoholism, drug abuse, and other illnesses since they can take over our lives slowly while we’re busy keeping up appearances, busy pretending. It’s a comfort to know, however, that the day we stop pretending there are those who have gone before us ready to reach back to help.

    We all need help, especially at the beginning and at the end of our lives. But even in the middle, when we seem to have it all together, we often need help then too.

    Who better than you to show us how to get our sass back. Thank you again Jennifer.

  16. Priska says:

    Congratulations on 23 years of sobriety, thank you for honestly sharing.
    We feel empathy because none of us that have reached mid life have managed to do so without moving on from the struggle of unhealthy habits, usually several times. Whether our addictions have been to food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, bad relationships or even work, the list goes on.
    Often we recover from one only to discover another that went unnoticed.

  17. Janice says:

    Thank you Jen for your honesty.
    The truth of those words “I would be dead by now” echoed inside of me with a shiver through my body. At one time in my life I could not imagine how I could survive another minute, another second without a drink. And today, I can’t even remember how many years I have been sober. I found out the real truth, that living life with alcohol as my best friend allowed me to operate on a very shallow level and it is only since I quit drinking that I began discovering the real richness in life and in people. As I saw life through a different perspective, I became more honest, open, and loving. I became someone I could care about. I am so very lucky to have found my way out.

  18. NewYawkahBroad says:


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