Magazine

From the January 2012 magazine.

Ready for a Second Chance

She relapsed after years in the program only to see everything she'd worked for fall apart

At the age of 12, I was placed in a psych ward for two months for issues unrelated to alcohol use, but in retrospect, definitely of alcoholic thinking and temperament. There I met a girl who became my "best friend forever." A couple years later, it was she with whom I had my first drunk, followed by many, many more. Every time I drank, it was alcoholically: falling down, blind and stupid.

In spring of 1990, at the age of 21, I was indulging in a complaint-filled conversation with her about the latest argument with my dad. She told me perhaps I could try to let it go, to admit he was right, even though I felt justified in my anger. She asked if I could stop drinking for 30 days. All she got in response were my extended splutterings of disbelief, incredulous stares at the phone in my hand interspersed with whispered notions that the voice I was hearing was not that of my friend but perhaps the victim of an alien abduction.

-- Kristen C.

Santa Ana, California

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