From the March 2014 magazine.

March 2014: Letting Go in Florida

A sober mom learns all about powerlessness in a partyland by the sea

Desperation drove me into the rooms of AA on July 10, 1983. It was not my first attempt. I had gotten three months together, moved to Florida, and once again became the important, self-sufficient person I always thought I was. After a year of more drinking, I got fired from my job and was about to become homeless. The desperate can be sweetly willing. So when I finally made it into the rooms, I had no doubts this time. I got old-fashioned, no-nonsense AA, and a lot of love from the old-timers. But this story is not all about me.

I had four grown children at the time, all of them out there in partyland, Florida. They had followed me after my move. I did know enough not to enable them, but I also was so self-centered that, of course, it was still all about me. So I let them each stay with me for three months, until they found a job and an apartment. I’m blessed because I never lost my relationships with my kids. I didn’t start alcoholic drinking until I was in my 30s, so thankfully we had developed a foundation with each other.

-- Jeanne R.

Monaca, Pennsylvania

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