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A Cruel Killer

An icy road, the death of a loved one, and his own struggles convinced him of the true nature of alcoholism

Several years ago, when I was counting days, doctors diagnosed a freckle on my left leg as malignant melanoma and advised immediate surgery. That night, I stormed into my home group at the Perry Street Workshop in Greenwich Village. I complained, "Here I am, only 42, just starting to get my life back, save my marriage, keep my kids, hold my job and what do I get? Cancer! Thanks a lot, God!"

When I paused to inhale, a woman with longtime sobriety said, "Ed, shut up. You're already recovering from one fatal disease, what's another?" Though it sounds severe, she delivered it kindly and with a little wryness.

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