From the June 2011 magazine.

The Third Time Is the Charm

A young mother hits bottom and finds AA but learns through relapse that she still had to concede powerlessness

"I was driving home drunk and smashed my new car into a light post."

How can I, a tough girl raised on the south side of Chicago, survivor of an active alcoholic upbringing, single mother of two, bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan, be powerless? It did not make sense and it kept me out there long after alcohol stopped working and was the cause of two painful relapses after entering Alcoholics Anonymous.

My alcoholism had progressed to the point that at 31 years old, I did not want to live anymore even though I had everything to live for: two beautiful, healthy children, good physical health, plenty of family, I owned my home and had lots of stuff. Growing up poor, I thought money was the answer, but I was absolutely miserable and could not figure it out. I found myself crying out some nights, while completely sober, "What is wrong with me?"

-- Cheryl B.

North Riverside, Illinois

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