The Beatles’ song “A Day in the Life” describes Paul’s morning as a kid in Liverpool:
Woke up, fell out of bed / Dragged a comb across my head.
Q: What does “A Day in the Life” of Caitlin sound like?
A: I work a good full-time job and enjoy life when I’m not at work – I spend time with my dogs, ride my motorcycle, stuff like that. I’m headed to Belize — the island of Ambergris Caye — at the end of the month. I was there when I was 15 and have always wanted to go back. I remember thinking this is it, this is where I want to be.
Q: What is something you’ve accomplished in your sobriety that you never imagined you would?
A: This question is kind of hard because I didn’t not do things because I was drinking. For me, I would have to say functioning sober. It was always physically necessary to drink so it was my focus. Having that freedom to step away from alcohol is something I never thought about.
Q: If five-year-old Caitlin met you today, what would you talk about? What single piece of advice would you give her?
A: I would tell her to listen to herself and move to the island. Don’t listen to what people tell you is best for you — listen to your own voice instead of trying to please others. If you know what you want to do, do it. Just don’t drink while you do it.
Q: What was the single hardest decision you’ve had to make in sobriety?
A: Definitely cutting people out of my life. I’ve changed my relationships all around, with sober people, friends and family. I have a different perspective now, so some people don’t understand it’s not necessarily them I’m avoiding but more like what they do. I know my weaknesses and my perspective has changed, so I see things differently.
Q: What is your best Mountainside memory?
A: Hands down camping. I slept on the yoga platform under the stars. My spirit animal, a skunk, came to visit me.
Q: What was the most sought-after vending machine snack when you were at Mountainside?
A: Sour skittles!
Q: What advice do you have for new alumni?
A: Hmm, take it easy when you get out of Mountainside and remember you’re still a liar and a manipulator, so don’t trust yourself. And don’t start smoking! That was something that helped at first and it was something to do, but it’s gross.