How Medium Helps Me Stay Sober

It’s been an unexpected gift to my alcohol-free life

Dave Tieff


When I was 17 years old I was obese. My parents got divorced when I was 8, and shortly thereafter I started gaining weight. My dad moved out and my mom worked two jobs to keep a roof over our heads, so I was left alone for a large swath of each day.

Left to my own devices, I started eating — a lot.

At that tender age, I had no idea that there might be long-term consequences of overeating, I just knew that food made me feel better.

This led to a life as the proverbial “fat kid” — teased by the boys and shunned by the girls. It was murder on my self-esteem.

That’s how it continued throughout my grade school years — up until my senior year in high school.

Most of my formative years were a black cloud of anxiety, insecurity, and humiliation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Then came the summer between my junior and senior years…

I lost 50 pounds while living in Hawaii for 3 months and I had a growth spurt at the same time. Just after the school year ended in June I left Maryland at 230 lbs and 5'10.” When I returned home in late August I was 180 lbs and 6'1".

I looked like a completely different person.

This changed the trajectory of my life, but feeling like a different person was (is) a slow process. I can’t honestly say that the insecure fat kid inside me has vanished entirely — and I’m now 53 years old.

The 17-year-old me looked very different, but I still needed a healthy outlet for the pain that was the root cause of my obesity.

That’s when I discovered something magical.


I loved music, but I had no innate talent to speak of. Listening to music was such a huge part of my life that the desire to learn to sing and play guitar eventually overtook me.



Dave Tieff

Alcohol Free (AF) singer-songwriter & cyber journalist. Here to discuss everything sex, drugs, rock, and culture🤘🍄🎙💋