From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Then Came Susan and Dottie

She tried to stop drinking but couldn't, until two nice ladies from AA came over

I can never allow myself to forget how sick I was during the years I strove to drink myself into oblivion. I have always been an outsider, quiet and brooding, and proud of my resentment of those who did not have any trouble fitting in and making friends. I am proud of being a self-proclaimed dork. I wanted to be different, to be better than everyone else, but at the same time, I was desperately lonely. When I reached age 21, I found the magical cure for all of this: I got drunk for the first time. Suddenly, I was able to speak to anyone I wished to speak with. I felt like I belonged, like I was witty, clever, and beautiful. I could even scream and yell like a child demanding to be the center of attention, and not feel uncomfortable with that attention.

I finally attracted “friends.” Most of the new relationships I formed with people were superficial and fleeting, but I did not care. I had found my niche in the world, I had found my God: alcohol, a deceptive lifeline I would spend years slaving for, clinging to, and holding on to by a thread—as my life was slowly shattering around me. I was too numb to notice the damage.

-- Laura P.

Elkton, Maryland

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