Mike wasn't the first guy to be put off by my drinking.In fact, I'd never been able to hold on to any guy for longer than a month or two.I saw myself as a high-achieving, exceptional person who needed to "let loose" on the weekends.

"No major changes in the first year" is a common suggestion for newcomers in AA.

It means holding off on moving, changing jobs, starting a relationship, etc. If these things don't work out -- or even if they do -- change can drive people to drink or use again.

My drinking and drug use escalated so quickly in college that my life seemed in danger of becoming a cautionary tale.

I had been fired from my dream job at a theater company. So I quit drinkin g-- and my other vice, cough syrup -- and started going to AA meetings in July 2010. As far as the no-dating suggestion, I considered myself exempt. If I couldn't drink or use drugs, how else was I supposed to feel like a regular college kid? I came into sobriety still reeling from a recent heartbreak.

Mike* was in an acting company with me, and we had shared a brief, passionate, tumultuous relationship.

I didn't respect his boundaries and would drunkenly sneak into his room even when he'd asked for a night of alone time.I would get drunk and cry hysterically in front of him.I was clingy and wanted to spend every second with him. He said I was a "fire" and was "consuming" him, and asked me not to contact him.All of them ended things with me after the second or third time they saw me sh*tfaced.There was never a conversation about why they stopped getting back to me. booty calls that culminated in me just passing out on their beds. I was lonely, and I wondered if anyone would ever really love me.There were other "incidents": I seduced a guy who had a girlfriend who was out of town; I had to be reminded of a guy's name while we were hooking up; I got so drunk I peed in a guy's bed. So after quitting drinking and drugs, I also wanted to quit my disastrous dating pattern.