I am not abstinent from caffeine. I attend meetings, I have a sponsor (who I call every day–for the most part), and she and I are about to begin stepwork together. But I haven’t yet been able to maintain long-term abstinence. Fortunately, abstinence isn’t required for CAFAA membership. All that’s required is a desire. And I have a desire.

Before coming to CAFAA I didn’t think there were other people whose lives were dictated by caffeine the way mine was (is!). I spend hundreds of dollars a month on Starbucks. When I feel an uncomfortable emotion, I turn to caffeine to block it out. When I feel an emotion that I like, I turn to caffeine to enhance it. To socialize I turn to caffeine. To accomplish a goal I turn to caffeine. I often go days on only a few hours of sleep because of my caffeine use. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thrown up from having too much caffeine. I steal and lie in order to get caffeine. Caffeine controls me.

But what I have today in CAFAA is hope. I have hope, and I don’t feel so terribly alone in my disease. I’ve worked the 12 steps in another fellowship, and I know how powerful they are. And I know that as many times as I fall, the solution is to just, “keep coming back.” As long as I come back, I hear the message; and as long as I’m hearing the message I have a chance of beating this thing.