By Barbara Nicholson-Brown


As April is recognized as Alcohol Awareness month, I am proud and amazed how far we have come in our open and honest dialog about addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues. I am not ashamed to be a recovering alcoholic, I’ll tell anyone who will listen.

I grew up in an alcoholic environment, yet no one talked about it and that silence fueled the shame about this disease, at least in our home.

Alcoholism, from my perspective was considered shameful and something to be hidden, especially if the person suffering was female. My mom had the disease and I witnessed what it can do to a family. Thankfully she found sobriety — ironically around the time she put down the bottle, I picked it up.

I had a 24 year battle being in the grips of alcoholism. I knew there was a big problem but was too scared to admit it, too full of shame and fear to ask for help. I was slowly dying, if not physically, spiritually for sure, I was an empty shell of a person.

Life in sobriety and recovery is not a straight line, and even with all the zigs and zags, gains and losses, sadness, pain, joy and laughter—I’m grateful every day to wake up sober, count my blessings. I need to remain open to learn, trust and continue to share my experiences and perhaps be a beam of hope.

Happy spring!

Email: [email protected]