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Grapevine : October 2011
pened. I always remembered AA and often wished I hadn't decided to drink. I went back to AA in 1979. At the age of 22, I decided to work the pro- gram like never before. I got a spon- sor, read the Big Book, went to a lot of meetings, but never worked any Steps. I met some wonderful people in the next 12 years. I met the wom- an who would become my first wife. We got married but divorced very quickly. We had a son, and she had a daughter who knew me as Daddy. I met my second wife in 1986. I found myself able to earn somewhat of a living. We had three kids together. She and I had a lot of good times to- gether---sober. She made me laugh a lot which felt good. I really did love her, as much as I was capable of. But at one point---at five years sober---I would go down in our basement and hide in the dark corner crying and didn't know why. It was horrible. We had a major disconnect toward the end. My paranoia was getting deeper, and it scared her. I would like to interject that if I had had a reliance on God and not people, the outcome might have been different. My sobriety may not have been so precarious. Perhaps I could've made saner choices. Now it was 1991. My wife and I were still married, but it wasn't going well. She had five years of sobriety, and I had seven. She decided to drink one day when I left to go out of town. I returned early to find her watching TV with a beer in her hand. I said nothing, but I felt that emptiness as if I were 4 years old again. I was scared. For the next week I obsessed about it. I decided that I was making too big of a deal. Heck, maybe I could drink successfully too! We went out to eat, and I told her I'd decided to try drinking again. Within a month she was scared of me. I think we both knew it was a mistake. We didn't talk about it, except for her occasional stern warnings about my drinking too much. We also had gotten into more intense fighting. In July 1992, I came home from work and informed her that my paycheck wasn't going to be much because they were tak- ing out two child support payments, and I was scared about being able to pay the bills. We got into a huge fight, and I threw something at her and told her I was leaving. I then left with my things and meant to never come back (other than to visit the kids). I will always regret that choice. She is a phenomenal woman. But our marriage was over. I got drunk a lot after that. I felt I would think, with all my knowledge about the program and the Big Book, I should be able to stay sober, but I couldn't. 24 October 2011