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About this photo: Substance use and abuse travel side-by-side with my mental health issues. It is tempting to pair the two as inevitable bedfellows, but in the process of recovery from both alcoholism and bipolar, I am learning that I can live with one (bipolar) without the other (alcohol). But I still find myself wondering how long the two will consume me, instead of the other way around. Bottles of medication continue to permeate my waking life, and they appear to seduce me from every bedside table and on every street corner. Is this what it means to be sober? Is it the need to stare at the window on addiction, and decide not to shatter it?