Drinking, Drugging, in the CD/TS/TG Community
By TG Spirit
Alcoholism in Transgender, Transsexual and Crossdressers
Although addiction is not unique to the TG,CD, TS community I suspect there are more than likely a higher number per capita as so many use it as a way to cope or to hide the pain of being 'different' What I hope to accomplish here is to offer myself as an example and to maybe offer a path of help which has been available since 1935 when Bill W. co founded the first Alcoholics Anonymous group in Akron, Ohio. Fondly referred to as 'AA' although those who do seek help through this or other programs including in house treatment centers have a low rate of Sobriety survival.
I have had the pleasure of chatting with hundreds of TG people over many years and one of the most common things I will hear is that AA does not address their personal needs. Of course anyone who has been in the program knows that this is just another excuse that is used and that they are just not ready. Anyone who is seriously contemplating getting sober has to do whatever is necessary to do so. AA or any other program you try to use will only work if you are doing so for yourself and no-one else. Not you're mother, father, wife, husband or children. This is a selfish program and must be done for you.
Walking into an AA meeting can be a frightening step to some and I always try to remind people that everyone in there has had to have a first time and likely gone through the same emotions and doubts. If you have done this that congratulations as this is a huge step!
One of the strongest recommenditations that I could make is to get yourself a sponsor, one who has a few years of the kind of sobriety that you may like to have yourself someday. Remember, the same person who may be loud and controlling at the meetings is usually the same loud person you never liked at a bar. Many people who have obtained a little sobriety may not have 'good' sobriety. What I mean here is to look at them, talk with them, Are they happy? When choosing a sponsor it is always recommended that you find one of same gender as if you are using their resources and personal experiences as a way to help yourself then this is always more comfortable for the both of you. Many sponsors will be strict with you as they each have their own way of trying to help you. As an example I have the ones who ask me attend 30 meetings in 30 days to begin with and to call or see me on a daily basics. If one were to have a 'slip' I will not judge and will continue to support them for up to 3 times then will ask them to find another person as a mentor as being a sponsor does take a lot of time and can be very stressful. I will never, ever talk with anyone when they are drinking or drugging as that is just a waste of my time and theirs. But everyone has their own way and these are just some examples of mine.
One of the goals of why I am writing this is to try to get the word out that just as you are not alone in being born a CD or TS or for that matter anything in between that there is help out there and it can work if you really, really want it. Anyone who has stuck with this for any amount of time has heard most of the excuses that so many seem to use as for why it doesn't work for them. You will hear a lot of one liner advice like 'Take it easy' or one day at a time' If these drive you crazy at first you are not alone as they did me also. I was in the program for over 8 years before I obtained my first year of sobriety and that was over 14 years ago now.
All I can promise you is that with anything else in life that you will get out of it whatever you are willing to put into it. This is not an easy path but there are many who have stuck with it ,gotten through it, and are better human beings for doing so. If anyone who reads this would like help in finding a meeting in their area or even having an on-line group I would be more than happy to try to help if there is enough interest. When you are ready for this new beginning all you will need to do is to change everything in your life to enable it to work ,more on this later just some food for thought.