I’m sure most will agree that Alcoholism is a Family Disease. Most families have at least one member of the family who is probably alcoholic. Crazy Uncle Joe who is always falling down at Holiday Parties; cuckoo Aunt Sally who rarely leaves home but always accepts the deliveries from her local liquor store. And, even more sadly, there are the young people: sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and cousins, some who are afflicted with a drug addiction or even dual addictions. But addiction is all the same: A KILLER! It kills hopes, dreams, potential, expectations, family relationships, and sometimes even the addict himself. I know of many families who have lost a son or a daughter to an overdose. or to a long prison sentence for mistakes they made while under the influence. You just have to look at the list of celebrities who have lost family members to this dreaded DISEASE. And it is a disease. It is an allergy of the mind, body and spirit to an addictive substance, whatever that may be. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling and powerful. It is the one and only disease that tells you don’t have it. Some scientists now believe that Alcoholism is GENETIC. While the studies are promising, the exact gene has not yet been discovered. Whether it is inherited or caused by environmental conditions, no one knows for sure, but the investigation is ongoing and every day we learn something more about this often fatal disease.
The good news is that there is a tremendous amount of help out there. The bad news is that Help is not for people who NEED it but for people who WANT it. I did not have that information when I went to my first twelve step meeting more than forty years ago. I didn’t particularly want to be sober, I just wanted all my problems, especially those associated with drinking, to go away, and if I had to go to a few meetings I could do that. But that was not the case. I could not stop drinking. And I continued on that destructive path until I had lost every single person that I loved and everything else that had any value in my life. It was only when alcohol brought me to my knees that I truly asked for help. And so, on March 24th, 1975 when I wanted to be sober, when I decided to do whatever was necessary to keep me sober, and agreed to keep on doing it on a daily basis, it was only then that I became a sober woman. On March 24th this year I celebrated 39 years of sobriety. Now that is a miracle! And it has been an incredible ride. I have met many wonderful people who have become my lifelong friends; I was married to a handsome, fascinating man for thirty years until he recently passed away. I have a beautiful family and have experienced a life I could never even have imagined unless I had WANTED to be sober thirty-nine years ago. But most of all, it has been FUN! It is not the death sentence I thought it would be. I have now been sober for many more years than I drank — and that is quite a feat.
If you, a friend, or someone in your family has a problem with Alcohol or Drugs there is an amazing amount of help out there—and you can beat it if you WANT to!
I have prevailed ONE DAY AT A TIME for 39 years.
BIOGRAPHY OF MARY FIRMIN
Educated in England and Canada, Mary Firmin has enjoyed several careers. After ten years as a ballroom dance teacher for Arthur Murray’s, she settled in Santa Monica, California, raised her family, and sold Real Estate while attending writing classes and seminars at U.C.L.A. Ms. Firmin wrote a society column for the Palm Canyon Times, and is past President of the Palm Springs Writers Guild. She is a long-time member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Romance Writers of America,. Mary has three grown children and presently resides in Rancho Mirage, California. Mary is the author of the award-winning mystery novel, Deadly Pleasures, and many short stories.