by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : January 2012
i wanted to be left alone to drink. i wore pointed cowboy boots and jeans with ragged hems, and a grey T-shirt with skull and crossbones on it. it had the words, “Born to raise Hell!” i saw it as a facade that said, “leave me the hell alone!” Then geographical drinking took over. i’d leave my poor hus- band for days and sometimes weeks at a time. i’d go to different towns and states, and he would have to find sitters to stay with our three young children so he could go to work while i was off drinking some- where unknown. Why that dear man stayed with me still baffles me. Then began the revolving doors of mental institutions. i was a very depressed drunk, and there were several suicide attempts. i came to in a hospital bed in San diego, where a doctor told me that i was “out” for three days and nearly died. He told me that i was lucky. There were the blackouts. i came to in strange places—in the bushes behind a tavern, under a tree some- where, in the weeds, under bridges, in a ditch. Sometimes i’d have bruis- esonmybodyandnoideahowi got them. Another blackout hap- pened when i was driving north in a southbound lane and came out of a blackout just in time to avoid death by 18-wheeler. i became sick and tired of being sick and tired. i thought that i just had severe mental problems and would eventually become perma- nently insane and locked up some- where for the rest of my life. Then one day i was sitting drunk on a little beach at the edge of town. i was crying because i thought i’d lost my three young children. My husband had picked them up from swimming. Hours earlier i had left them there and gone to the tavern down the street to get more booze. (Today, i still shudder at the thought that they could have drowned. They were too young to be left alone, and no one else was around.) An old high school chum found me there, and she gave me a phone number to call and get some help. it was two months later before i dialed that number. A man and a woman came to see me. i remem- I was crying because I thought I’d lost my three young children. My husband had picked them up from swimming. Hours earlier I had left them there and gone to the tavern down the street to get more booze. 42 January 2012 GRAPE_40-46.indd 42 11/22/11 3:59 PM