Almost ten years ago a close friend of mine started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. She had always been a bit of a party girl, but after moving out of the city and into the ‘burbs, her drinking got the best of her. With two young children at home, she began drinking every day at about noon, not knowing how to fill the long afternoon hours until her husband came home from work. She would drink from an opened bottle in the fridge, intending to have just a small glass, and end up finishing it. Then, afraid that her husband would notice, she would drive to the closest liquor store and buy another bottle, and drink that one down to the same level where the first one had started.
I did not see any of this, because I was in the city and we didn’t see much of each other at this stage of our lives. Something definitely seemed wrong though. She didn’t return calls and was extremely unreliable when it came to making (and especially keeping) plans. It wasn’t until she had hit her bottom that she “came out” to me, revealing that she had been sleeping the afternoons and nights away, and then waking up and beginning the cycle over again.
When I attended her one year anniversary at A.A., her speech was incredibly honest and moving. It was hard to hear, especially because I love her and really hadn’t been aware of the depths of her problems until then. Today she is over ten years sober, and she’s happy. Before, when she was drinking, she was always looking for “more”, but today she seems content with what she has.
I just finished reading “Best Kept Secret”, by Amy Hatvany. This book is not non-fiction, but the author is a recovering alcoholic mother, and she writes about a woman (a writer like herself), who also finds herself abusing alcohol while singly tending for a young son, and ultimately fighting for custody of him after he is taken away from her.
It’s never easy to read about addiction, and this is particularly painful as the author has lost the one thing that really matters to her… her adorable little boy. I enjoyed it though, and if you like this kind of thing I recommend it. It is not an easy read though so don’t pick it up if you’re looking for something light.