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Grapevine : January 2012
from the cops. my father had kicked me out, and with very few friends left, I hit the streets at 13. I smelled terrible. I talked, or rather I mum- bled, unintelligibly to myself all the time. I was emaciated. I was a crazy shell of a ghost of the once bright kid I had been. I had been kicked out of the prestigious magnet school I had attended. I slept on a couch by the railroad tracks. I hadn’t yet hit bot- tom though. I developed a hatred of all in- stitutions, religions and authority. I would emerge from my hiding spot to argue with the revivalists that would try to save people. I became increasingly violent to anyone who threatened to take my medicine, alcohol, away from me. Once, af- ter getting picked up by the cops, I had to undergo an interview with a treatment center. I refused to an- swer any of their questions, and gave everyone there a vicious tongue-lash- ing. As those who thought I would be better off without drinking, they were my sworn enemy. All of them— parents, teachers, cops—they were all the evil agents of a vengeful God that was intent on destroying my one source of freedom. eventually the law caught up with me. Actually, for some reason I came out of hiding and turned my- self in. I saw a judge that day who saw that I needed more than incar- ceration. He sentenced me to a long- term residential treatment center when I was 14. I spent a little more time in jail while I waited for my bed in the rehab, and I went through the worst of my detoxing there. Once I got to rehab, my violent attitude to- ward everyone was a little lessened. I decided that I would have an easier time if I could just fake it and coast my way through, with a strong re- solve to pick up again once I was released. The well-meaning staff there gave me a bunch of worthless in- formation about my synapses and liver and blah, blah, blah. I didn’t care. All I cared about was getting out and getting drunk. All the self- knowledge meant nothing to me. As for AA, we had the books there and the moment I saw the word God I was 100% done with that racket. I would go nowhere near it; I flat-out refused to have any participation in anything even remotely related. eventually I got my first pass to leave for four hours. We were two My father had kicked me out, and with very few friends left, I hit the streets at 13. I smelled terrible. I talked, or rather I mumbled, unintel- ligibly to myself. aagrapevine.org 19 GRAPE_16-21.indd 19 11/22/11 3:57 PM