I am proud to be on the Advisory Board of Writers in Treatment, a non-profit corporation that provides free treatment for writers whose lives and careers are being screwed up by alcohol and other drugs. Not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, and not every one who takes prescription or street drugs is an addict. How do you know if it's a problem? Simple. If drinking or drugging is causing you problems, it's a problem.
There are some folks who, for some reason, are :etter people when they are not clean and sober. Years ago I knew a woman in Walla Walla who was an alcoholic drug user. She had a great sense of humor, was very clever and great fun. She got clean and sober and became a most uptight, unfunny, unfriendly and downright rude person. She certainly seemed miserable, and made those around her miserable too. She tried so hard to be someone else's image of a clean and sober person – ie repressed, harsh and remarkably dour.
Nowhere does it say (wherever IT is) that healthy people are miserable with no sense of fun.
There is something about being mainstream that suffocates too many people. Give me someone with passion — passion for good or evil and that passion can accomplish great things properly directed– like wind in sails. A luke-warm person, devoid of passion, is like a fruitless tree.
William Shatner is famed for coining the phrase, "Get a life!"
Sadly, the life some people get is not their own, but one that is pre-fabricated for them by well meaning folks who are more than eager to formulate the lives of others as a way of having a false sense of purpose in their own lives.
If drinking and drugging is screwing up your life, marriage, career and/or health, you can simply decide to Do Something Else Instead. (The DSEI Method of Responsible Behavior), or if you need someone to guide you out of the fog, there are plenty of folks willing to do that because doing so means that they are Doing Something Else Instead, too. That was the original method of Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Sitting around shooting the breeze, or going off to help someone, basically meant that they were DSEI. Any outer directed "Something Else" will do the trick. Just decide to DSEI and have someone DSEI with you. It is a simple and reliable method of "recovery" that actually works with remarkable ease…and if it doesn't work, it just means that you need to DSEI with mandated supervision until you would rather DSEI all on your own.