Life Lessons

Life Lessons: The alcoholic next door

VIDEO Life Lessons: The alcoholic...

Studies show one in 12 adults suffers from some kind of dependence on alcohol.

Sometimes to the outside world, those people seem to function just fine, but one woman is speaking out.

Martha Carucci had it all: big-time career, a fabulous home in the suburbs, a handsome military husband and three great kids.  She also was hiding a big problem; Carucci was an alcoholic, drunk most of the time and living a lie.

Five years ago, she abruptly quit drinking, and is devoted to sharing her message of struggle and redemption to help others.

"I found myself shaking at lunch until I got a drink in me," shared Carucci.

Carucci termed herself a "functioning alcoholic" by day, a busy, but hungover lobbyist in Washington D.C. By night, inebriated, falling down the staircase passed out drunk.

"I would just tell myself, I'm fine, you know sometimes I drink a little too much. What I say is that I have a broken off switch. When I start I can't stop.  More is always better. Physically, I felt horrible. It was starting to take its toll on me, physically." Carucci explained.

Exhausted from a life of lies, she broke down and opened up to a girlfriend.

"Finally, about four in the morning, after drinking all day, I was able to get the words out. You know what? I have a serious drinking problem," Carucci said.

That was five years ago and since then, Carucci sobered up and wrote a book to help others, humorously called Sobrietease.

"I decided that it was either going to be laughter or tears.  And, you know, I'd had enough tears that I tried to approach this in a way that I could keep my sense of humor and try to help other people with it. So I was like, here I am! I'm a suburban mom of three, but I'm an alcoholic. I'm proud of that. I took that problem and turned it around and am trying to help other people with it." Carucci said.

Other people like Lexi, who says, "I have a graduate degree. I had a good career. The disease doesn't care about that. And I did jail, I did institutions, and I almost did death. Any long journey starts with the first step."

If you or someone you know has a drinking problem, experts recommend finding an alcoholics anonymous group with a good 12-step program.

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