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Grapevine : July 2011
My boyfriend at the time was getting tired of worrying about me, but we were both so codepen- dent, I knew he wouldn't leave. The nagging, how- ever, started to get to me. I would try to take a break from drinking, but could never make it more than a few days. I tried drink- ing only beer, only wine, allowing myself only two drinks an hour ... all the games we play. Anything to not have to (gasp!) quit altogether! A DUI, public humiliation, staph infections and complete moral degradation were not enough to make me think I had a problem. I started to think maybe I was crazy. Was I abused as a child? I needed pills! That must be it. Nobody un- derstands me. This relationship is stifling. Anything but booze was my problem. Then one day, I just knew. Enough was enough. It had stopped working for me quite some time ago, but I had finally gotten sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time.Without putting much thought into it, I called a girl I knew was in the program and asked for help. She took me to 90 meetings in 90 days and consequently saved my life. I still have some bad behaviors. I still get fearful and uncomfortable, but I am conscious of my actions, my surroundings and, most impor- tantly, my options. I have a voice to- day. I understand consequences and my power of choice. I used to be scared of being a follower and never having any fun again, of being a bore, trapped in a mundane existence. Turns out, I'm a blast! Without confrontation or heartbreak, the negative influ- ences in my life have slipped away. Days are no longer wasted because of a hangover. I might not always be happy, but I have peace of mind knowing that I am present for my life and for those that matter most. Shannon R. Los Angeles, Calif. Not only was I a blackout drinker, I was also a liar. aagrapevine.org 43