From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: The Good Girl

She spent a lifetime trying to be perfect, but booze changed all that

Growing up I was always the “good girl.” I never wanted to cause my parents any trouble, and my brother and sister would often call me “goody-two-shoes.” In high school I was a good student. While my brother and my sister were partying and experimenting with alcohol and drugs, I was usually in my room with a book. I recall on one occasion sitting on the front seat of a pickup truck between my sister and the boy I’d begun to date while both drank beer and smoked pot. I firmly refused to try either.

As a young adult and the mother of three children, my only experiences with alcohol were a glass of wine at the occasional Christmas party, or a can of beer at a barbecue. After my 10-year marriage to a verbally abusive husband ended in divorce, I proceeded to raise my children for the next eight years without ever thinking about having alcohol in the house. I had made it through a difficult marriage and divorce without ever needing a drink to cope with my feelings. I’d even endured a frightening diagnosis of early cancer and surgery without taking anything stronger than aspirin. Then I married the man I’d been dating for three years.

-- Coleen F.,

Jacksonville, Alabama

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