From the October 2013 magazine.

October 2013: Her New Technicolor World

How a woman on a speaker tape gave her hope and lifted her out of the gray

When I came into AA, I didn’t want to hear anything about God. I had trusted in a loving God growing up, but my father left my mother when he was drinking, and it was very painful for the entire family. Shortly after he took off, my mother sat me down on the cooler in our laundry room and told me about her hopelessness. I remember it as if it happened yesterday. She cried, which I had never seen her do before, and said, “I’ll never have someone to love me again.” As a devout Catholic, she didn’t believe in divorce or remarrying, and she still loved my father dearly. It was then that I gave up on God.

At the end of my own drinking I was trying to go to church, which I used to love. I would sit and cry during the entire mass. I was very deep into my alcoholism. I was a delinquent mother, wife, daughter, friend, coworker and employee. I had no ability to interact with the world and was living in isolation, fear and depression. I was drinking vodka on a nightly basis, and it had stopped working. I thought my children and husband would be better off without me. I had shelves of self-help books, had been going to therapists for years, and was a compulsive exerciser and a workaholic. I thought God had failed me.

-- Karen J.

Portland, Oregon

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