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Grapevine : May 2011
I recently took a trip to Sonoma, Calif., a town famous for its wine-making, to visit my stepson and his wife. They have their own label and he works in a winery that, as it happened, was having a party. It tells us in the Big Book that we can go anywhere liquor is served if we have a good reason for being there and if we are spiritually fit. I was 25 years sober and felt that both applied to me, so I went to the party. My stepson kept a full bottle of water violent drunk. I was rude, obnox- ious and lived for nothing else but a drink. How I didn’t kill myself, or someone else, driving around blast- ed during this time is a miracle in itself. I had bruises all over my body that I could never explain. This insanity went on for about five years. Near-death experiences, fighting and arrests became normal occurrences. I wrote hot checks to pay for my alcohol, not knowing where the money would come from and not caring. I sold my house, blew more money, including the rest of the life insurance money, and sold most of my possessions, even my true love, my motorcycle. A few more bad relationships later and I was about as low as anyone could possibly go. Then my mother passed away. She’d been sick for a while, and I hadn’t spent any time with her. God allowed me to be in my mother’s arms the night she took her last breath, but I was drinking up until the very last mo- ment before I got there to see her. Finally, I was arrested and sent to prison for six months. I remem- ber being full of so much shame and guilt, when the reality of what I had become set in, I could hardly stand it. After prison, I was placed on in- tensive probation, drinking was not allowed. I had nothing left. I had burned every bridge. I had very few options left, so I went to live with my father in Atlanta and got a job Close call in wıne country HP to the rescue: Music and dancing can sometimes make wine look good. 36 May 2011 GRAPE_32-38.indd 36 4/5/11 4:00 PM