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.
Finally, on thanksgiving Day, 1976, I broke down and told my family that I believed I was an alcoholic. My mother cried and said,”O, honey, I’ve been afraid of that.” I went to AA the next day.
How did you know?