Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published January 2012.

Web Exclusive: The Juggler

His ambivalence about sobriety ended with a series of violent sprees

When I was handed a plane ticket granting me a flight to South Florida for inpatient treatment, images of bikini-clad women and emerald-colored palm trees did not enter my mind. Instead the lonely and fearful thoughts of life without alcohol clouded every action and thought of mine. I had recently passed the clinically-ordained life expectancy from my doctors following another grand mal seizure induced coma. As I entered my fifth treatment center, I did not have feelings of optimism and hope about recovery.

Instead, I experienced strange fleeting moments of inspiration that were soon squashed by the imperious desire for the next drink. Like a stage magician, I sat in various treatment centers trying to juggle the willingness to work a program in one hand with the uneasy thought of how to drink successfully in the other. It was as if one of those dark, animated storm clouds I used to see in the cartoons hung over and followed me through life. It was awful. Clinical depression had nothing on the way this 22-year-old felt.

-- Anonymous

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