From the May 2001 magazine.

A Choice and a Treasure

I don't remember how old I was when I first drank enough apple jack--fermented homemade cider--to get a nice, relaxed buzz and forget some of the pain I was feeling. But I soon drank as much as I could as often as I could.

Then, while attending college, I met a man named Paul. We were together as a couple for a little over four years. He confronted his drinking and started attending AA. Soon I was reading all the AA literature I could find and attending meetings also, trying to understand what he was going through. If he couldn't drink, I wasn't going to drink either. It took me three months to realize that he wasn't the only one who was alcoholic; I was, too. The first time I stood and admitted that I was an alcoholic, I was shaking so much I could barely stand. But it was a good beginning. That was in 1993.

-- Paula B.

Silverware, Washington

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