How I Knew

“We don’t receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
Marcel Proust

Three things happened that helped me to see my alcoholism. The first was that my father (who was a periodic alcoholic) had long periods of being dry. Yet when he returned to drinking, he was always in worse shape.

One night, he had a really bad night from drinking and I stayed up to try to help him. I now know that he was having the DTs. The next day, I knew that I never wanted to go through what he had.

The second thing happened when Jonathan Winters was on Johnny Carson’s show. Jonathan had quit drinking. Johnny insisted that Jonathan could have a little wine on Thanksgiving. Jonathan said, “No. You don’t understand. I’d have a little wine and then a little scotch, and suddenly it’s Tuesday.”

The third experience was one fall day, my husband and I had taken our daughter to a park. The two of them were having a great time on the swings. I was miserable–it was too hot for me–I was tired–We had been there too long–I was thirsty. Suddenly, I looked at them and realized that they had something that I didn’t have. I didn’t know what it was–but I wanted it.

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