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Grapevine : June 2011
school and decided she would fill the hole I’ve felt since I was a kid. So I followed her off to college, where I learned that I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, which was exactly what I did for the next three years. I was self-centered to the core. In college, I learned how to drink like the people around me, but that wasn’t enough to make me feel like I belonged. So, I joined a fraternity and a few good-hearted guys took me under their wing. I began to party all the time, drink- ing and doing drugs during the day. While I hid my increasing drug use from those friends closest to me, drinking was always acceptable, at any hour of the day. Each day was occasion to celebrate: “Thirsty Thursday,” “Wasted Wednesday,” etc. We had the perfect excuse. This was college, after all. We were just doing what everyone does. When my friends first expressed concern that drugs and drinking were becoming a problem in my life, I snapped and stormed off. I promised, time and time again, that I was stopping, had already stopped or would stop (after the weekend). In all actuality, I just hid it better, becoming more and more isolated. One day, I realized I was going to drink and use every day, regardless of what I promised, even if I didn’t want to. The days grew painfully long as I slowly began to realize that I was going to do whatever I had to dotogetadrinkoradrug. I did not understand how the people around me could wake up, go to class, study, and pass their exams. I had tried treatment once before, promising my girlfriend and room- mates that my drinking was no lon- ger an issue. I made these promises with the utmost sincerity, knowing deep down there was no way I could ever stop. Several failed attempts later, I lost the girlfriend, dropped out of school and became completely iso- lated. I had become a thief, liar and manipulator, a person I didn’t know and didn’t want to know. My par- ents were sick of my lies and ready to throw me out. Something had to change. I called an old counselor from a halfway house I’d stayed in briefly and asked what I should do. The staff found a bed for me and told me to show up the following day. That was February 2, 2010, and, through the grace of my Higher Power and the love and support of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have not had to take a drink or a drug since. I was reintroduced to AA and immediately found a sponsor who had what I wanted: A smile on his face and freedom from the same fear that had run my life for 22 years. I did everything he suggest- edandwhenitcametimetodoa Fourth and Fifth Step, I was as fear- less and thorough as I was capable 46 June 2011 GRAPE_44-47.indd 46 4/29/11 1:09 PM