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Grapevine : May 2011
Uncomfortably numb OUR PERSONAL STORIES I am 43 years old, and at the time of this writing, I’ve been sober for four months. To some, that may not seem very long. To me, every single day I don’t pick up a drink is a true miracle. My long, sordid love af- fair with alcohol has proven painful and devastating. I have lost those I love most, to say nothing of material possessions, jobs, pets and all the time wasted in jails and institutions. When I was 13, I snatched a col- lector’s bottle of Jim Beam from our kitchen and told my parents I was go- ing out to walk the dog. I had no des- tination in mind or plans of any kind to meet anyone. All I knew was that I wanted that liquor. The next thing I realized, I woke up in a hospital with alcohol poisoning. I don’t remember much of the night, except I ran into an older boy from the neighborhood who followed me into the woods to drink. I remember he was on top of me at one point, so I claimed he raped me. The only other thing I can remember from that night was that I never sipped the alcohol. I drank it like a glass of iced tea. From then on, my life was unmanageable and totally out of control. I scarfed money from my parents, snuck out at night, jacked my mother’s car, etc. If I had party supplies (cigarettes, alcohol, money, a car), I was well-liked. Chaos and drama became the norm, and I no longer cared whose feelings I hurt as long as I was numb. Not long after they expelled me from school, I visited my first treat- ment center. I was 15 and deemed beyond the control of my parents so they put me into the “neighbor- hood alternative center” for about six weeks. During that time, I did well, discovering I had a conscience, morals and values. Truthfully, I was a nice, young lady when sober. Un- der the influence, however, nothing mattered and I didn’t give a damn about anyone. She had to drink to keep running— only AA stopped her. aagrapevine.org 33 GRAPE_32-38.indd 33 4/5/11 4:00 PM