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Grapevine : January 2012
and go each day, avoiding that base- ment like the plague, which was just fine with me. This was when I made the trip to my parents’ house to steal the ring. After my confession, my father told me that he wanted to give me $5,000 to send me to live somewhere on the other side of the country and that they never wanted to see me again. I re- member thinking that I should have been hurt by that statement, but all I could think about was the $5,000. The basement had become what I believed to be my safe haven from the rest of the world. I began halluci- nating and waking up with all kinds of injuries. On two separate occasions, while contemplating suicide, I cut my arm wide open and stabbed myself in the stomach with a hunting knife. I even went after one of my roommates with the knife. Soon my roommates decided that it was time for me to go. One of them called my father and told him that I was going to kill myself, and he came and drove me around town to look at apartments. Unlike the last time I had moved, this time I had no intentions of stopping my drinking. People ask me what it’s like to be drunk 24 hours a day, and what makes an alcoholic continue to drink. The best explanation I can come up with is this: Try to imagine the worst physical pain you’ve ever felt, the worst emo- tional pain, the most terrified you’ve ever been and the most anger you’ve ever felt—and the only way you know of to stop the pain is to drink more of what caused it. It’s a vicious cycle. a fter going through binge after binge, I found myself flipping through the yel- low pages one afternoon. I came across Alcoholics Anonymous. Though I al- ways knew that AA existed, the thought of looking into it had never crossed my mind. I walked to a meeting the following morning. I stood outside the room and listened. I kept hearing words like “God” and “Higher Power.” I turned around and walked out. I didn’t believe in God, and I thought, If there is a God, screw him for doing this to me! I continued to get sicker and more insane with every binge. It didn’t take me long to crawl back to AA. Though I never did anything they suggested, I became convinced that AA would not work for me. Eventually, the binges became so bad that I turned to the idea of suicide again. I wrote a letter and unplugged the phone. my wrist was cut, and I passed out. The sun was shining through the window. I opened my eyes. After noticing that my arm was stuck to the floor, I remembered what I had done, but could not understand why I was still alive. Somehow, the artery in my wrist had closed back up after I had passed out. I looked at my watch and realized that I had been lying on 26 January 2012 GRAPE_22-29.indd 26 11/22/11 3:56 PM