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Grapevine : August 2010
thought we were having a blast. My dad decided enough was enough and put me in treatment. I was the youngest patient by about 20 years and one of the only fe- males. I was elected president of the group and was a model client. Leaving rehab, I was instructed to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. I did so six times and never went back. I only remember smoking, eating do- nuts and cussing. A Higher Power, if mentioned, was lost on me. I met a handsome football play- er at one of those six meetings who, unbeknownst to me, was an active alcoholic with a violent temper. I married and became a devoted wife and teacher. We had two sweet girls whom I was fortunate enough to stay home with and dote upon. I man- aged to stay off alcohol for almost 10 years. Then I broke my ankle and was put on prescription pills. The day after I got my cast off, I drank my husband's liquor. I mixed vodka with my daughters' juice and felt happy and contented after years of fear of my husband's increasing wrath. I tried AA three times during my year-long relapse and finally it stuck. I loved the program this time and relished the Higher Power concept. Working the Steps with my amazing sponsor was eye-opening. My parents were so proud of me and I launched into service work. I lucked into the career that I had dreamed of since third grade, writing for publication. I divorced my increasingly alcoholic and violent husband. And I met and married another alcoholic. I had two more beautiful, healthy little girls and moved out of the state. We moved back to Florida four years later and our idyllic life continued. I hooked up with my former sponsor and got right back into my old AA life. I took up baking for large groups, always using vanilla extract, which is laden with alcohol. I loved to bake and was homeroom mother in all of my daughters' classes, mak- ing cupcakes and cookies. I baked for school fairs, parties and bake sales. I became pretty adept, using whatever other ingredients the recipe required, but always using vanilla. Then I de- veloped heart palpitations and was put on prescription medication. Two I kept cooking and putting vanilla extract in everything, from pancakes and waffes to all kinds of baked goods. I would always put some vanilla in a glass of milk and have ‘a little buzz’ all the time. 42 August 2010