From the August 2000 magazine.

A Compelling Angel

Toward the end of my twenty years of drinking, I was a tired, isolated hausfrau, caring for a beautiful year-old boy--after a fashion--and continuing my quest to drink all day and in secret, to escape detection and disapproval from my husband. I idly wondered how long I could get away with it. Even though my husband hadn't uncovered the hard evidence yet, I already was paying a stiff price. I stubbornly ignored spiritual bankruptcy, sluggishness, and growing medical evidence of liver problems, which I blamed on other factors, so I could muddle on with my daily quart of vodka habit. I spent...

-- Ellen F.

Manhattan, New York