From the October 2017 magazine.

My Guardian Angel

She knew she had a problem. What she didn’t know was that the guy she liked would help her find the answer

I was a 22-year-old female soldier in 1989, living in southern Bavaria. The Berlin Wall had just come down, and it was a crazy time mixed with lots of beerfests and blackouts for me. I had joined the Army in 1986 to escape my alcoholism, but it followed me wherever I went. I was unable to make rank because I was always blacking out and getting into fights and causing trouble. I kept getting knocked off the promotion list.

I always hung out with people who drank as much as me so I didn’t feel like such a wreck. One of my friends was sent to alcohol counseling sessions because she had been getting into trouble as well. Although I was not mandated, I went with her one time because I knew I was a mess and I was getting really tired of feeling like such a loser.

-- Patty S.

Romeoville, Ill., USA

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