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April 2008

Denial Washed Away

"One alcoholic talking to another” through the words in a magazine

I am grateful to the people who shared their stories in the AA Grapevine--their honesty washed away my denial.

For thirty years, I didn't drink. I never thought about drinking. My husband drank in front of me during a ten-year marriage. No issues. Five years ago, after my divorce, I started drinking--two weekends a month in clubs with my friends, getting used to the single life. Then three years ago, I quit "the party scene" and only drank a glass of wine with my grandmother, every night after work.

Two years ago, my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My grandmother and I were devastated. I had insomnia. Nothing worked to stop my worrying all night, except wine. One glass of wine after work became three. Then, last year, wine became bourbon. I feared I was an alcoholic. I asked my psychologist, who's treating me for insomnia, "What is an alcoholic and exactly what quantity of consumption is alcoholism?" He gave me two copies of the AA Grapevine. That was the best thing he's done for me.

In the August 2006 issue, a woman shared her story. She was an accomplished attorney and was attending Pepperdine University. She had a family. Her story was frightening--it mirrored my life. My denial was exposed. "How can an accomplished professional attending a graduate program, and a mother of two honor students, be an alcoholic?"

I realized that alcoholism can happen to anyone, in any profession, regardless of family or stage in life. Today, I am sober.

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