Profiles in Recovery

Katie MacBride

As a teenager, MacBride hid in her bedroom closet and “drank alone until it nearly killed me.” She emerged to build a much healthier life in recovery – now seven years sober and a successful author.

MacBride is unflinchingly candid as she describes the ghosts of addiction and reason to hope:

“I have been the drunk stumbling down the street at 8 a.m., the one you grab your child’s hand and cross the street to avoid. I have been the confused, angry woman screaming at a parking meter. If that is you, or someone you love, all is not lost. Not all of us recover, but many of us do. We behaved shamefully, but we are no longer ashamed.”

Day Job:
Author of young adult fiction, librarian, freelance writer for Cosmopolitan, The Fix, and  other publications.  Operates the site

At my worst, I was:
Unable to go through even a few hours without experiencing symptoms of withdrawal.

Rules I live by:
Don’t drink, no matter what. Ask for help.

When cravings come:
I breathe. I call a friend who is also in sobriety. I ask for help. And I try to remember that all cravings pass eventually, and I don’t have to pick up a drink to make that happen.

Best advice for newbies:
Know that recovery is possible, even when every neuron in your brain and muscle in your body is screaming at you that it’s not.

What I value most in recovery:
Knowing who I am.

Stigma I faced:
People have all sorts of stigma around addiction and recovery. No amount of stigma I face is worth compromising my sobriety over. For me, that’s the main thing to remember when I encounter stigma about being a recovering alcoholic.

At the end of the day, staying sober is what my life depends on. I don’t need to engage with anyone who wants to challenge my sobriety or who has misinformation about what being sober means. The stigma around addiction is large, but I can choose how much I want to let it affect me.

I get inspired by:
Other stories of recovery from addiction. It doesn’t matter if it’s food addiction, drug addiction, gambling addiction. The root of it is all the same. And when anyone is able to salvage a life from it? There’s nothing more inspiring.

What saves me from myself:
Being honest with others about how I’m doing, what I’m doing (or not doing) to stay sober.

After a few years, it becomes easy to take sobriety for granted; to not dedicate yourself as much to the things that you know keep you sober.

I am not always the best judge of how I’m doing in that regard, so it’s important that I am honest with the people close to me so they can offer support and guidance if I need it.

Follow Katie on Twitter:  @msmacb

Shed the Stigma:
If you’re a person in long-term recovery who wants to share your insights, please contact us at [email protected].