Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published May 2017.

End Of A Drinking Journey

She drank her way from Massachusetts to Miami and her mother prayed every day that she would be safe.

There is a photo of me at the age two drinking out of a beer bottle with the help of my Dad and Uncle Joe. My first memory of alcohol came with homemade cough syrup. Some whiskey, a squirt of lemon and a teaspoon of honey in a shot glass. Oh, did that taste good! I remember getting mad when my sisters were sick and got “medicine” and I couldn’t have any. It was more than jealousy; I wanted that warm feeling in my stomach along with the sense of calm that followed in my brain.

I don’t recall the first time I was drunk. There was a group of us from the neighborhood that began experimenting with alcohol and drugs. We would wait outside of the liquor store and ask someone of age to get booze for us. It didn’t really matter what there was to drink, I would drink it. I loved that feeling of oblivion that hit me after a few drinks (eventually after a few swigs). Every day I was drunk and/or high. Days went to months, then to years. I honestly thought this was a normal state of being. I took one day at a time, never looked toward the future, and was content with life. My motto was: “Life sucks and then you die.”

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