From the March 1992 magazine.

You Just Don't Understand

My sobriety date is November 5, 1977, and I've had continuous sobriety since then. That's not the way it always was. One of the first alcohol-related incidents I can recall was when I was five years old and had several sips of my parents' beer and "fell asleep." When I came to, I realized that the cops, my parents, the neighborhood--everybody was looking for me. Apparently, I had fallen asleep for several hours under the stairwell and no one could find me. I certainly got in a lot of trouble for that and I swore at the ripe old age of five that I would never drink again!

When I was a child we moved often, and I never quite felt like I belonged anywhere. I could make friends very easily, but had no experience in keeping long-term relationships. When I was eleven years old, we moved to Maryland and for the first time I was put into public school. Well, I went crazy. I didn't know how to handle all the freedom I had just been given. As a fifth grader, I had started smoking cigarettes well before my time. I started book-burning parties and began cutting school long before any of my peers were interested in such activities. I started sit-ins protesting the Vietnam War simply because I was so bored with school. I thought I knew it all. The Catholic schools had really taught me well and I was bored with the public school's curriculum. I felt it was too slow for me and that I didn't need to go to class or study.

-- Lola G.

Greenbelt, Maryland

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