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Grapevine : January 2012
A sIsatontheout‐ side patio of the golf club overlooking the calm waters of Little Traverse Bay, with gentle music in the background, I reflected back to what a wonderful day I’d had. The weather was picture perfect, the golf game was good, my husband and I were laugh‐ ing—and I was happy. I thought to myself, What a difference six months can make. I was blessed. While 2010 will never be a year on which I look back fondly, it did be‐ come a turning point after decades of self‐destruction. I, who had never giv‐ en up and never accepted defeat, was pummeled. Similar to my golf game, I had continued to refine bad habits while thinking that I, alone, could fix them. I had maintained the insanity of continuing the same misdirected pattern, yet thinking I would have a different result. Ironically, my love for alcohol followed the same timeline as my love for golf. I first dabbled at age 8, played more regularly by 10 or 11, and was addicted by 16. I had grown up The 19th hole Drinking killed her golf career but not her joy for life in a very fun and loving family. Alco‐ hol was part of the everyday routine, sometimes to excess, but always very normal in my eyes. We laughed a lot, and rarely allowed any dark feelings to show. My father taught us strength and determination, the meaning of respectful, fair competition, and will‐ ingness to take calculated risk. My mother instilled in my sister, brother and me a drive for achievement, an appreciation for learning and a foun‐ dation of faith and good conscience. In addition to introducing us to the world, they introduced us to the game of golf. Unlike my brother and sister who never really cared much for the sport, it became my passion. The same could be said for alcohol. By the time I was in high school, I drank regularly. Similar to my golf game, I was very lucky and did not get into much trouble. I maintained very good grades, played boy’s varsity golf (yes, girls can do it too) and even made the All‐State team. As a reward for all my hard work, I enjoyed party‐ ing with my friends. My life was good, and I was going to do great things. I never allowed people, or very, very few, to see the dark side—driving drunk or high, drinking during school hours or, at times, hiding alcohol or drugs in my car or room. I certainly NEWCOMERS 52 January 2012 GRAPE_52-55.indd 52 11/22/11 3:08 PM