From the September 2011 magazine.

October 2011: Go Mow the Lawn

Once she grabbed the tools, she became the person she was meant to be

"You’re in a muddle because you don’t know what to do about a problem? Go clean the bathroom, mow the lawn. Pray, and it will come to you."

My story starts with my favorite line heard throughout childhood: “But she has so much potential.” It was a constant theme, and I heard it everywhere: school, home, friends, clergy. I came from a good family and was given every opportunity. But I was always attracted to dark corners and sharp edges, rough people and breaking the rules.

I was a holy terror to my family. I dropped out of college at 18 to get married to a certifiably insane person who whisked me off to Africa to start a rogue nation of libertarians. It was right around that time that I began drinking in earnest. I had failed my family and broken their hearts. I had no education or career. I was married to a crazy man, and I couldn’t see any reason not to drink myself silly every single day. I drank for the next 20 years, divorcing and marrying several times. Each relationship was the same old wine in a brand new bottle.

-- Kitty B.

Carmel, California

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