In my early twenties, after the end of my first marriage, I found...

In my early twenties, after the end of my first marriage, I found myself on a first date with a man who neither smoked nor drank ever. He was raised as a Christian Scientist. Here I was, drinking my third glass of champagne and blowing cigarette smoke in his face. Little did I know the tremendous changes that his enlightened thinking would have on me.

Alcohol was an accepted—very accepted—part of my family's culture and our lives. At Thanksgiving dinner, when I was two years old, I'd been taking sips of everyone's cocktails for quite some time before anyone noticed my strange, tipsy behavior. This might seem funny (and everyone did laugh), but it is not humorous for a two-year-old to develop a taste for alcohol. My family operated a bar, and when we cleaned it, on Sundays after church, I would mix myself a highball and hide it, in order to get myself through this most miserable of jobs.

What I remember most about growing up was being so terribly fearful about everything. There was always such inharmony in our home: sickness, relationship problems, and financial woes.

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May 29, 1995

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