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Addictions and Answers
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The obvious first question

Q: Youíre not a doctor, not a psychologist, licensed alcohol & drug counselor, no degrees in the subject. What qualifies you to write about addiction?

A: I have a picture of myself, a memory of walking around London, someone left back home, crying. I am wearing a black raincoat, a pint of gin in each pocket. At every little red telephone kiosk, I stop and take a bottle out of my pocket. I hope I donít drink it, I say to myself, and drink it. I hope I donít buy another bottle, I say to myself, and buy two.

My wife at the time may have thought Iíd slammed out to buy a newspaper, or have a drink and get over our most recent quarrel. I donít know today where I got the money, how I got the ticket, why I was carrying a passport; I flew the Atlantic in a blackout.

I awoke fully dressed on the floor of a little apartment we kept in New York. I looked around. I did not ask how I got there, what had happened, was anyone worried about me. I was alone. I was an alcoholic. I knew what to do. I could drink all I wanted with nobody around to nag me to stop. I got on the phone and ordered a case of gin. There were some pills in the medicine cabinet. I washed them down with the first martini, drinking my way into two hospitals in ten days.

That was twenty five years ago. I went to a 28-day rehab in Pennsylvania and havenít had a drink since.

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Last Update: 3/5/2001

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