From the April 2011 magazine.

April 2011: An Unmade Bed

Sometimes a slip starts in the subtlest ways

"My sponsor had me replace bad habits with good habits, like making my bed every morning. Grow-up time."

I was a “late blossoming” alcoholic. After many years of drinking, I finally plunged into the pit of despair that only alcohol can bring, and then slopped around in the muck until I had had enough to surrender. My journey into alcoholism was absolutely seductive. It romanced me, convinced me that I was in control and could do all things. I was president of the universe.

I had tried AA for a few months a year before as alcohol gave me permission to walk away from a successful career. With three months under my belt, I thought I “understood the theory” and drank my way to Florida (and through a lot of money) with my 16-year-old daughter. I didn’t last very long there. I spent the next 11 months “planning” to go to a meeting “soon.” I slept on a waterbed before it became fashionable and was absolutely terrified to leave my house except to get booze. Bills didn’t get opened because I didn’t have the money to pay them. I became a round-the-clock drinker.

-- Jeanne R.

Monaca, Pennsylvania

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!