From the October 2013 magazine.

October 2013: Forgiven

What she got one drunken night on the highway was much more powerful than booze

In middle school, I started drinking everything I found in my parents’ liquor cabinet. The taste didn’t matter to me; I just needed the effect it produced. Drinking allowed me to escape. After high school, my drinking really took off. During my first semester in college I knew I couldn’t keep up and drink, so I dropped out and got a job waiting tables. I handed all my money over to my master—alcohol. Eventually it was getting harder for me to show up to work, so I quit. This freed me to drink all the time.

I was soon being taken to different doctors for psychological therapy and chronic malnourishment. On one of these trips my physician wanted to track my heart rate, so they strapped one of those 24-hour heart monitors on me. Before I even left the parking lot, I made plans with some friends to go buy liquor. I was sure alcohol would not affect my heart rate! Between the four of us we drank two bottles of cheap wine and a bottle of rum—in 45 minutes. We then went to a friend’s house and drank everything he had there. In a blackout, we got on the highway to get more liquor and, going 96 mph, I convinced my friend to cut across three lanes of traffic. He drove off the road into the trees.

-- Eavan J.

Landing, New Jersey

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