Just before I sobered up, if you had asked me if I needed to change anything about myself, I would have said "yeah, my employment status." I needed a job. Oh, not just any job, I needed a big, high-paying job with lots of responsibility. In my mind the reason why I sat home all day in my messy darkened apartment drinking red wine, smoking pot, and watching lame daytime television was because I wasn't working. A new job would fix everything. I had been a success before and would be again. A phoenix rising from the ashes. I needed my outsides to change but my insides were just fine, thank you very much.

I lived life in a growing web of dishonesty. Over the years I kept piling on the lies, embellishments, and half-truths in the belief that if I could only get you to like and accept me, then I could finally learn to like and accept myself. Toward the the end I was more or less a fictitious character who could mold himself to whatever he needed to be -- good employee, understanding boss, gentle lover, loving son, loyal friend. But the truth is I never had any real heart in any of these roles. I fooled a lot of people with my play acting, but I could never fool the man in the mirror who watched me shave. I walked through life knowing I was a fraud.

I showed up on the doorstep of Alcoholics Anonymous without a clue about the truth of who I really was. I used the tools of the program to slowly, slowly chip away at the falsehoods. Today I am not so much learning who I really am, but more so learning what I am not. I am no longer a liar, a cheat and a thief. And that's a hell of a deal.