The Next Right Thing
Hello, my name is Brooke and I’m an alcoholic. Actually, I’m a lot of things. Aren’t we
If there’s one thing we all are, it’s human.
If blood runs thicker than water then addiction brings my bloodlines to a standstill. I lost
my Mum to alcoholism. She was my best friend. I’m an only child and, growing up, it
was just the two of us. I’ll never find the right words to describe how much I miss her.
There aren’t any. But in some ways, I don’t have to, because she continues to guide me
as my Higher Power. At the forefront of my dreams is my recovery because, in order to
even stand a chance at achieving the rest of them, I need to treat my disease – one day
at a time, for the rest of my life. There is no cure. But there is a solution.
Mum hardly drank at all until she was 40 and died at 57. Once she picked up that first
drink, she never really put it down. She had a hard life and drinking seemed to make it
easier. She often described me as her life, so I did my best to be the best at everything I
did. Then life got hard again. Harder than ever – not just for Mum but both of us – and I
got sick myself. I’m 35 now and have been drinking the exact same number of years
she did. That scares me. A lot. It breaks my heart that Mum never fully accepted our
disease nor applied the solution I’ve been blessed with.
Going to rehab was on my early teenage bucket list. All the stars seemed to do it and I
had them in my eyes. So I thought it would be glamorous. It isn’t. But it is the best gift
I’ve ever given myself.
So much so that I call it home for now. I’ve lived in some beautiful houses. But for me a
home is made by the people within it, and I’ve found my second family here. I am now
on the road to what I hope is a healthy and happy destiny. No human being or tangible
thing can achieve that for me, and I definitely can’t do it alone.
I practice a 12 Step spiritual programme of recovery in which I explore who I am and
what my life is about in relation to alcoholism. I have come to recognise it as both a
medical and spiritual condition, for whilst I can physically abstain from drinking, my
power to remain free from it comes spiritually.
My programme continues to teach me about my moral compass and how to use it, how
to respect myself and others, perspective on my problems and my human weaknesses.
I’m learning how to ask for help if I need it – to gratefully receive it and give support to
Like a lot of people – like my Mum –I drank to escape some very hard realities that
brought me huge stress, trauma, loneliness, fear and rejection – and in turn a huge
‘hole in my soul’. My programme teaches me how to replace this escapism – my
powerlessness over alcohol – with empowerment through spirituality.
Thank you for joining me on my recovery journey. As my dear fellow travellers often say
– keep doing the next right thing.