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From the March 2014 magazine.

March 2014: April 25

A son shares something very special with the dad he did not want to call

I grew up with five brothers and one sister. We played hard, went to school and tried not to get into trouble. When I was very young I didn’t know my dad was an alcoholic, but as I got older I sort of knew he went to these meetings. My mother was also an active Al-Anon member. They never told me about the program, even though they could see at a very early age that something was up. When I was 17 I was throwing drinking parties while they were away. Finally, when my dad had had enough, he gave me the option to follow the house rules or leave the house.

For the next 10 years I did not have a good relationship with my father nor could I control my drinking. I managed to make it through high school and college but my drinking got much worse. After graduating I took a really good job at a university, but was called in several times by the administration for drinking with the students. They finally gave me an ultimatum: If we hear about you drinking, or you come in hungover, or fail to come into work on time, you’ll be terminated. Sure enough, within a week—even though my hours were 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., perfect hours for the alcoholic—I did not make it into work. I knew I would lose my job this time, so I did something I thought I would never do—I checked myself into a five-day detox.

-- Kris S.

Boulder, Colorado

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