Talk About It

By Barbara Nicholson-Brown


As Alcohol Awareness month begins, it’s amazing to see how we have progressed with open and honest discussions about addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues. I’m not ashamed to identify as a recovering alcoholic, but that wasn’t always the case.

Growing up, my mom had the problem with alcohol, and no one in my family talked about it much. That silence fueled all kinds of shame. She was a ‘secret drinker’ and we all knew it. Ironically around the time she put down the bottle in 1977, I picked it up. The more I drank, the more my lies became lies on top of lies. I was too scared and full of shame to ask for help. It took years for me to hit bottom — a day I will always be grateful for.


I want to extend a very big thank you to Chris Riley, CEO of Crossroads for sharing his story from the depths of darkness and despair, to the clean, sober and fulfilling life he leads today — helping others on the path to recovery. Let’s keep talking and sharing our experiences.   

A heartfelt thanks to Amy Tilley, Libby Timmons, Lee Yaiva and Nick Jones for contributing to our annual Alcohol Awareness Month issue!