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Grapevine : March 2011
the only, sincere words I had prayed in many, many years. It is amazing to me how quickly God will answer when I am praying for his will and it was his time in my life for me to learn. At that very moment the upstairs bedroom of my apartment on Amster- dam Avenue became a surreal fanta- sy. I was trapped in a prison with no windows. There was a huge steel door that I kept banging my head against and suddenly the steel door turned into a gauze curtain that seemed to be gently blowing in the breeze. The room became very bright and I heard a powerful voice reverberate in a loud whisper, "Alcoholism." Was I having hallucinations? Could this be the residue of last night's heavy drinking or of a 1970s acid trip? Was it odd or was it God, the answer to my prayer? Yes, it was my truth. I had lived with no concern for others. I became painfully aware of how I had gone roaring though my days and the walls of denial came tumbling down. My mind was enlightened to the fact that I was an alcoholic. No longer able to fight the truth about myself, I spent the next few days frightfully aware and desperate. As I walked around the trading floor at work, my designer pumps clomped a haunting refrain. They seemed to ring out, "Dead woman walking, dead woman walking." I felt the deathly chill of an empty tomb. How did I arrive at this horrify- ing place, the child who knelt by her bedside each night to say her prayers? I stood on top of the highest precipice, balancing like a fallen angel on a pin- head. I was in great danger, knowing that the slightest breeze could send me back into the deadly pits of hell. O n Saturday, March 3, 1984, my death was interrupted with the precious gift of sobriety. I was taken to a place where I found peo- ple who shared the same pain, the same desperation and the same lone- liness, and they were laughing. Min- gling with these like-minded people provided a resting place that restored my weary soul. I attended my first meeting "no- ticeably anonymous." I was blubber- ing like a baby and I was amazed that they recognized me as a newcomer. So loving and sincere, they asked noth- ing of me, not even a stock tip. Rather, they stuffed my arms with literature and a New York City meeting sched- ule with their names, phone numbers and best times to reach them. They all enthusiastically encouraged me to keep coming back. One older, evolved bag lady gave me the warmest hug and a packet of tissues. Looking in my eyes and squeezing my hand she whispered to me, "Listen honey, it gets better, it gets worse, it gets different, it gets real, it gets real different, but keep com- ing back! Look at me; I stayed sober Grapevine 41