Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published March 2012.

Just Like a Pinball

After bouncing around from trouble to trouble, he was facing jail time but chose AA instead

I first remember tasting alcohol at the dinner table. My family were of Yugoslavian descent and we would attend cultural picnics where slivovitz, a 100 proof brandy, was served. I would taste test the little cups that people didn't finish. However, I really started drinking and drugging in 1972 when I was 14. There were lots of drugs around at the time and I tried those, too.

Now I know I was a closet drinker back then. My favorite places to go and drink were the hot, muggy back country roads of Central Illinois. Alcohol and the lifestyle it brought with it were my only real enjoyments in life. As time went on, the spirit of pity, anger and low self-esteem began to rule my life. I soon became ostracized from high school clicks. People started realizing what I was doing.

-- Edward P.

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