From the May 2012 magazine.

May 2012: Pool Party

Alone and isolated, his winning ticket was a friendly AA meeting

Throughout my drinking career I always wanted to fit in. I would gravitate toward whichever group looked as if they were having the most fun and try to ingratiate myself. The fact that I drank alcoholically would inevitably lead to ugly situations and rejection. I was not easily deterred. I would act like a puppy nipping at peoples’ heels. Loneliness and isolation, which only an alcoholic can understand, seemed my destiny.

At the end of my drinking, I had no friends and no social life. I would come home from work and take two beers with me to the shower. One was not enough. I would retreat to my chair in front of the TV to drink myself into oblivion. Infringements on my time by my daughter or anyone else were barely tolerated. When I had to stay sober to attend my daughter’s sporting events (which I genuinely enjoyed), I was a knot of white-knuckled sobriety mixed with apprehension and unexplainable fear. I rushed through it all to get back to the comfort of my isolation and drunkenness. I had given up on any dream of happiness or fulfillment and was resigned to the fact that I would die young.

-- Chuck V.

Lake Leelanau, Michigan

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