The greatest delusion and misconception that recovering alcoholics have is that someday we can become "normal" drinkers and use "moderation". That is the "greatest myth" that we face as recovering alcoholics.

      My twenty-one year old daughter tried to test that theory but she never made it back.

      On January 3rd, 2003, we got the dreaded knock on the door that no parent wants to get. A medical examiner and police officer didn't mince words that early Friday morning. They seemed impatient at the time wanting to get the information to us as quickly as possible.

      Lisa had been travelling at a high rate of speed just two blocks away from our home when she lost control and went head on into a retainer wall. The officer told me that he had detected alcohol on her presence and that she died instantly without suffering. If he only knew.

      Lisa suffered from the disease of alcoholism...cunning, baffling, and powerful! Recovering alcoholics know only too well the nature of this suffering. The struggle is personal. Without help, the disease of alcoholism is too much for us!

      I haven't been a stranger to this disease either. I had started drinking in my early teens shortly after my father had died from a liver disease. The alcohol for me was a way to numb the pain of losing him. It made me feel different but not always better. My drinking escalated over a period of twelve years and I found myself in that space we call "total insanity".

      When I surrendered to this disease, I was twenty-eight years old. I was finally sick and tired of being sick and tired. I gravitated to recovery groups like a cat who finds solace in the sun's rays. I needed to find peace and serenity to replace the physical, mental, and spiritual bankruptcy. I was tired of the self-destruction.

      With the help of my Higher Power and a twelve step recovery program, I was given a second chance at life. Listening to others, I realized it would take action on my part to stay sober, a day at a time. Sobriety is "a work in progress".

      Lisa had tried to grasp a twelve-step program many times. She was very involved and successful in this program for three consecutive years. She not only helped herself but also many people who were in similiar straits. She was always there for others in the program, always offering rides to meetings and lending an ear to recovering alcoholics. She had a very strong faith and was kind-hearted, gentle, and a loving spirit. She was very happy and had pursued many goals in life during her sobriety. We soon became a father/daughter recovery team! Together, we went to many twelve step meetings and spread the message of hope to many in recovery.

      Tragically, when she turned 21, she thought she could drink differently and discarded the notion that she was an alcoholic. She also associated with some people who tried to convince her that she could drink "moderately". Lisa and I had gone to many recovery meetings in the past but I had noticed a disturbing change. I had sensed that she wasn't completely into recovery anymore. She had one foot in and one foot out and was falling fast into the "greatest myth". She took that first drink again at 21 and it turned out to be her last. She lost control of her car and crashed head-on into a brick wall just two blocks from our house. Her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. The devastation and destruction of that day will always haunt us forever and her life was cut short by a disease that could care less.

      My anger at what happened is directed at the disease itself. I am angry at the disease for taking the life of my beautiful daughter Lisa and disappointed that she chose to drink again. This is a horrible, devastating disease which claims so many lives. With so many families predisposed to addiction, it is even moreso destructive.

      If you don't work a recovery program you risk losing sobriety. You may risk losing your life.

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