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(#1211) Mary S (Cleveland, OH)
8/17/2003 in Cartersville, GA  EVENT: 26th Allatoona Roundup  TYPE: AA, Female, Story

The Sunday speaker, sober 15 years since 2/12/1988 (age 26) and though married to a fellow alcoholic, Tim T, speaking at the same event, she asks the question, "If you were an alcoholic with the last name of Step, would you change it?"

She grew up in a really happy, very Roman Catholic family of seven children outside of Cleveland. The Church was at the center of her family life. Her dad was in television until he lost his job in the early 70's.

Neither parent was an alcoholic, though her dad made a big deal out of his liquor cabinet and he enjoyed having a drink at home after work.

She did not drink like that. She is a vanilla drunk.

She was sexually assaulted at 13 by six boys while she was crossing through a construction site. She got home and swore she would never tell a soul. She hit a crisis where she was never enough - a middle tier kid in school. Then she found alcohol.

Her family, particularly her mother, became her enemy - all she wanted to do was get out of the house. Alcohol became the center of her life.

She got a fake ID and became popular. Running away in many different forms became a way of life.

She was kicked out of private school, got lost in public high school and began to experience rage. She finally made it to college at Kent State in art school.

She met and married an artist who drank and used like she did. They planned to travel the country to art festivals. Instead they stayed in a duplex his mother owned and he got a sales job.

Mary was not happy. She continued to drink, take pills and rage and on her 24th birthday he delivered the dissolution papers and dumped her back at her parent's home.

She got a job managing a bar, raging and dating the owner. She was addicted to rage. That was her world. The owner fired her.

On 2/12/1988, she woke up on a friend's linoleum floor and something had changed - she knew if she drank again she would die and that drinking was the source of her problems. She knew a man that did not drink who was on the edge of AA. They both started the Program in earnest that day.

(57 min) (19.8 MB) (id#1211)