From the January 2010 magazine.

A brilliant addiction

A writer goes from having it all to the hard floor of a jail cell

I'll never forget it, the crystal, clear as water, gut-wrenching, split-second of a moment when I realized for the first time that I "had a problem"--that I was an alcoholic.

In jail for the third time, reduced to 90 pounds of sickened shaking bones, I wondered how this had happened again. Whenever I stepped out of the doors of jail, I seemed to travel right back to where I had begun, a full and perfect circle--geometric completion. That night, surrounded by the howls of my fellow inmates, too sick to climb into my bunk, I balled up on the concrete floor and thought, The drugs . . . it must be the drugs.


Fredericksburg, Va.

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