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by Abigail Van Buren

Pregnant Teen Seeks Advice for Raising Her Child Well

DEAR ABBY: I recently quit drinking because it was clearly becoming a problem for me. I was hiding alcohol, putting it in water bottles, drinking it like water, etc.

I struggle with anxiety, which makes AA not a viable option for me. I looked online and was able to find SMART Recovery. So far, it has been a valuable resource for me. I am sticking to the program and find the people online to be supportive and helpful.

My struggle is, because I had been drinking for so long, people judge me by my past. Even at home. How do I get to a point where people take me for who I am now and stop dwelling on the past? -- SOBERING REALITY

DEAR SOBERING: I applaud you for recognizing you had a problem and doing something about it. You mentioned that you "recently" quit drinking. I wish you had mentioned how long ago because it may have something to do with how you are being treated now.

All you can do to change people's perception of you is sincerely apologize and try to make amends to anyone you may have hurt or offended while you were under the influence. It may take time for them to trust that you are no longer the person you were, so be patient and continue to work on your sobriety. With time, you will be respected for the person you are now.

Read more in: Addiction | Mental Health