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Grapevine : August 2010
T HIS is the story of my fam- ily and what AA has done for us. This is a sober story. Suffice it to say we all be- long. It starts with my fa- ther. I was almost 5 the first time he quit drinking. My mother had threatened to leave him before, but this time she had packed our bags. There were four of us kids and another on the way. My mother would have had no choice but to go on welfare and somehow survive with us. My father promised to stop drink- ing and see a psychologist. He even went to a couple of AA meetings and decided to stick with therapy. This worked for almost nine years. Things improved greatly financially. A cou- ple of years later my mom and dad bought a piece of property and began to build their dream home. About a year before we were able to move in, my dad started drinking again. He had become an everyday drinker. Instead of disappearing for a couple of weeks at a time, he now had the opportunity to drink all day. Any shouting that happened between him and my mother we kids chalked up to the added stress of building this huge house for us. We moved in and a few months later I came home from school to find a realtor's lock on the house. When I asked my mother what was going on she said that they needed to show the house to figure out the value. I had started drinking and taking drugs a few years before and was now beginning to get into trouble because of it. My brother, who is one year younger than me, started drinking. He and I got into all kinds of trouble over the next few years. Things were getting progressively worse, and I noticed that I never saw my dad any- more except at work. My mom told me that my father was an alcoholic and that he was go- ing to AA to try to stop drinking. My dad seemed like a good businessman, didn't get arrested and didn't beat my mom. In other words, he seemed normal. He was my first impression of an alcoholic. My father knew that if he ever drank again he would lose every- thing. He jumped into AA with both feet. He was going to meetings, a lot of them, and things got better for him. My brother and I, on the other hand, couldn't stay out of trouble or the police station, and the two young- est boys were just trying to stay out of the way. Just as I turned 18, I got into more trouble with my brother. Because Ihadnorecord,Igotafine.My brother was about to have to go to the training school ( juvenile hall), but my dad got the judge to sen- tence him to AA instead. He started to go to meetings. After a couple of months, he told me he was going Grapevine 17