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Grapevine : January 2012
I went on to college and increased my drinking significantly. I played golf for my university team, met my husband to be and joined a sorority. During my spring breaks I would take golf trips with my parents and then re‐ turn to my party lifestyle when I went back to school. Admittedly, it was somewhat backward thinking. When I wasn’t too hungover, I worked at im‐ proving my game, as my aspirations of being on the LPGA tour continued to grow. Similar to recovery, a success‐ ful career on the professional tour re‐ quires perseverance, firm dedication and practice, patience to take things one hole at a time, rigorous honesty with oneself and others, focus, faith, acceptance, and even occasional hu‐ mility. Apart from waning faith and occasional determination, I had none of the above. I will always regret not working harder to accomplish my dream. Maybe I would have failed, but at least I would have tried. My alco‐ holic thinking won that match. With the idea of professional golf no longer in my future, I decided that drinking and golf could go together. I was in graduate school and no longer played competitively. In the few tour‐ naments in which I did play, I was terrible. My game was gone. I rarely went out to have the serene round on my own. Rather, I would just party with friends on and off the course. The same thinking continued as I began my career. I worked as hard as I played, thinking that was good balance. Burnout—no way, not me. I would be far too successful and would retire a rich and well‐respected leader of industry. For about 18 years my profession‐ al career advanced despite my own self‐sabotage. I had the opportunity to live in multiple countries and expe‐ rience much of the world while con‐ tinually getting promoted. That made drinking easier and more exciting, as I frequented every festival and drink‐ ing establishment I could find. Hell, it made drinking during any part of the day socially acceptable. I no longer felt the need to wait until after 5 p.m., and my disease liked that. I did miss golf though, and I continued to make an effort to take golf vacations a few times per year. Even if playing and drinking at the same time became dif‐ ficult due to course restrictions, there was always the 19 th hole afterward. During the last five years of my three‐decade drinking career, my dis‐ ease took its toll on me. I continued to drink regardless of potential con‐ sequences. I had been drinking daily for years with the very occasional I was terrible. My game was gone. I rarely went out to have the serene round on my own. Rather, I would just party with friends on and off the course. 54 January 2012 GRAPE_52-55.indd 54 11/22/11 3:08 PM