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January 2010

A room full of smoke and grace

Sober many years, a woman recalls her first meeting

The day of Sept. 5, 1975, started like most of my days. The first thing I did after waking was to see where I was sleeping--the couch or the bed. That might give me a clue about the night before. Then I would look at my husband and try to read his expression. If he was pleasant, I tried to piece the evening together from clues he might drop during conversation. If he looked disgusted, there was a good chance I had done some of my drunken behavior, i.e., calling people in a blackout, bringing people home for a party or having a fight with him. If he told me in detail, my shame and remorse would overwhelm me, and I would once more promise to never drink again.

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