From the February 1998 magazine.

60,000 Hugs

I once heard a speaker describe what a drink felt like to him. He said the warmth started in his mouth, traveled down his chest, and soon his entire body felt wrapped in a big warm hug.

I knew exactly what he meant.

My problem was that after twenty-five years of drinking, those warm fuzzy alcohol hugs were killing me. I didn't mind that so much, but they also were making me miserable. I was unhappy and afraid, and I felt frustrated all the time. I woke up each morning with a vague sense of guilt, and I always felt sorry for myself. Life seemed unbearably complicated and...

-- Daniel R.

Enumclaw, Washington