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Darkness Into Light

She learned to look forward to life rather than dread it

Today, I have four years sober, and recently, I was remembering a drunken night from about five or six years ago. I was with the newest love of my life. Of course, we were meant for each other: we both loved to drink. I drank like a man—shots of whiskey, chased by beer. I combined all this with my psychiatric medications. I found myself laying upon the trailer floor. The man I was with was relating stories of how he'd shot a man in a jealous rage after finding him with his wife. These were the kinds of dangerous people I kept company with.

My drinking career—and maybe that's the only real career I've ever had—started when I was 13 years old. I'd had the bright idea to raid my girlfriend's parents' liquor cabinet. They had scotch, my dad's favorite drink! I wanted to be just like him. He'd frequently had scotch and water at night. I drank a fifth of scotch whiskey like it was water. I suppose I had the daft idea that my father would be proud of me.

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