From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: Turning Tumblers into Wind Chimes

How a newcomer’s house, filled with beer signs and wine glasses, produced a treasure for a neighbor in need

After more than a decade of heavy drinking that damaged both my relationships with loved ones and my health, as well as cost me my job and the respect of my coworkers, I reluctantly admitted I was an alcoholic and entered outpatient treatment on a Thursday in March. On Friday, I was advised to spend the weekend purging my home of all things associated with drinking, as well as attending at least one AA meeting a day. I had dumped all the alcohol down the drain, so I asked what they meant by things associated with drinking. Someone said, “Anything that held or was about or used with alcohol.”

I nodded, and then asked, “But what if they’re art? You know, hand-made one-of-a-kind glasses that you have because of the artistry?” Everyone laughed. “What about this bong?” one of the young guys said, mimicking my little wail. “It’s a one-of-a-kind work of art! It’s not just for pot!” Everyone laughed again. My face grew hot with embarrassment, and it flushed because of the panic that I felt welling inside me.

-- Sam Marie E.

Atlanta, Georgia

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