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Out of the Wilderness

An alcohol-fueled suicide attempt was the end of his drinking life

My wife thought I would walk out of my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous when she heard the Steps and Traditions being read, with their references to God and prayer. I was a cynical agnostic and my wife, sitting beside me, thought, "This won't work." But a week earlier I'd survived a suicide attempt by the skin of my teeth so I was in no state to engage in theological wrangling. I listened with laser-like attention to anything that would keep me alive, and that meant not drinking.

My last binge had not been that spectacular; in fact I thought I deserved a pat on the back for arriving home before the pubs closed. But my wife took one look at me as I reeled through the front door and she fled out of the back door with our daughter. As they drove off into the night, I cursed them for being so unkind. I then turned the place upside down, wreaking my frustration and resentment on the furniture.

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