From the October 2005 magazine.

When the Floodwaters Rise

Whom do you ask for her

I was sitting on the edge of my bed with a loaded gun in my mouth. Was this a scene from my drinking days, when my active alcoholism led me to complete despair? While this moment resembled the half-dozen failed suicides I'd attempted while still in my cups, it was, in fact, my sober--or I should say dry--bottom.

Mental illness predates my alcoholism, and I first contemplated ending my life when I was six years old. Perhaps my depression is because of my difficult family circumstances or maybe it's just a case of genetics. As with my alcoholism, what matters is not why I have it, but that I accept it and take care of it.

-- Karen S.

Manchester, New Hampshire

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