Grapevine Web Exclusive

Published April 2012.

Staying for the Miracle

An old timer looks back upon her drinking life as she celebrates 34 years

My story began when I first got drunk at the age of 16 when I was a junior in high school. There were three of us girls and each of us had our boyfriends with us. At New Years, one of the guys had a car and some booze. I should have given it more thought, but as the first bottle went around, I guzzled it down in less than an hour. I was drunk out of my mind. I threw up, blacked out, and the rest of the night, the others wanted to throw me in a ditch out in the farming area of Brawley, Calif. The guys finally took my friend Rosalie and me to a local bunkhouse and threw us in bed.

When I came to there in the morning, I went home. My mom asked if I had been drinking. I said yes and proceeded to throw up. I missed two days of school. I had all the symptoms of alcoholism from the start, but did not have the knowledge about the disease that I have now after all these years.

-- Charlene E.

San Diego, California

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