"Hi, my name is Molly Fitzpatrick, and I am an alcholic.”
“Welcome, Molly,” the group responded back.
“I started drinking when my husband left me. I was hitting the bottle pretty hard, and that’s when he was awarded full custody of the kids. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t go to work, let alone take care of the kids. When he left, he took everything I had left — inside and out. I’m not talking just the car, the house — I had to find a new place to live, which wasn’t easy — I mean, he took every little piece of me. I was alone for the first time ever. I had to completely start over. My job as a receptionist in a veterinary clinic wasn’t enough. I — I was so stressed, I started drinking. Every night. The kids would come home from school on my days, and I’d be passed out, drunk. My husband — ex-husband — fought me tooth and nail to for custody. I couldn’t handle it. I started drinking even more.” Here, Molly paused.
“I want to fix this — to change. I don’t want to drink away my life anymore. I want my kids back.” She sat down and put her head in her hands, sobbing.
The chairman stood up. “Well, we all live in similar shoes as Molly. That’s why we’re here. Welcome to the group, Molly.”
Molly took her head out of her hands and looked up grimly.
Everyone clapped, and the next person got up to speak.
Driving home through the streets of Los Angeles, Molly did have the urge to stop at a bar. Battling her husband for at least partial custody of her kids was going to be a nightmare. The truth was, she had started drinking before her husband even left. She didn’t want to admit to it, but she had been an alcoholic nearly all of her life. Haunted by a past that never left her, alcohol had been her only true friend over the years. She had started drinking at sixteen. At first, she thought it was all fun and games, hanging out with the “cool” crowd and letting some stranger by them a bottle or two of booze at the liquor store, but things at home turned sour really quickly. Her mom and dad fought all the time to the point of her dad beating her mom from time to time — the last time killing her. She would swipe alcohol from the liquor cabinet at home. At 23, she knew her addiction would never quit — not after seeing her father kill her mom at the age of 17. That’s when she met Kyle, her now ex-husband.
She pulled over at a bar in Northern Hollywood. She would just have one drink, she told herself, and leave.
Two hours later, Molly found herself drunk, penniless, and calling for a cab ride home. She had insisted she was okay to drive, but the bartender had taken her keys from her when she went to use the bathroom.
Her roommate let her in to her one-bedroom apartment where she was sleeping on the couch every night.
“Oh, fuck, Jezabel, I just lost my job, my kids, my husband — you expect me to come up with rent now?”
Her roommate Jezabel glared at her. “I’ve been trying to get you to pay rent for two weeks now, Molly. Now either stop your bullshit or get out. You know I need the money for rent.”
Molly sighed, exasperated. She knew she needed to pay the rent, and she had the money in her account — her last couple of paychecks from the veterinary clinic were enough for at least a couple months worth of rent — but she knew she was gonna blow it all on alcohol.
“Molly, it’s time you quit drinking. I know all about your past with your father killing your mother, but it’s in the past now, Molly. Let it go. This is not what she would have wanted for you — her only daughter destroying her life with alcohol”—
“Leave me alone!” Molly slurred. “You don’t know how I feel or what my mom would’ve wanted! My parents obviously didn’t care enough about me to even think what they were doing to me!” She threw herself on the couch, face down, and started sobbing. Sobs turned to snores, and she was out.
Jezabel covered Molly up with a blanket. “Sleep it off, girl. We’ll talk in the morning.”
Sunlight streamed through the window. Molly woke with her head pounding and birds chirping.
“Ugh…” she mumbled and rolled over.
Jezabel was in the kitchen, cooking a big breakfast. She had a cheese and veggie omelette going, hash browns frying, and a pitcher of orange juice sitting on the counter. Molly sat up, holding her head, and sleepily asked, “Why you up so early in the morning?”
“It’s 9 o’clock,” Jezabel answered. “We have a lot of talking to do. Thought I’d start making you breakfast first. I let you sleep in a bit.”
Molly got up off of the couch and walked over to the table. Jezabel put a plate of food in front of her. Molly picked up her fork and started pushing her eggs around on her plate.
“What happened last night?” she asked. “I think I blacked out again.”
Jezabel sighed. “It’s not unusual for you after a night of drinking, Molly. By the way, you may want to change your shirt.”
Molly looked down and saw she had puke all over her blouse.
“Ohmigod, what is wrong with me?”
“Shower’s clean and ready for you to use.”
The hot water was just what Molly needed. She let it run down her body and through her hair while she scrubbed herself. When she was done, she towel dried herself and her hair.
“Breakfast’s getting cold. I’ll heat it up for you!” Jezabel shouted from the kitchen. Molly looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t like what she saw looking back at her. She saw the most hideous monster staring back in her face. She wished she could change. She wished she could be a better person.
“Molly!” Jezabel called for her, breaking her out of her reverie.
“Molly, you have to go pull yourself together,” Jezabel warned her, stepping into the bathroom where Molly was still staring into the mirror.
After Jezabel’s last warnings, Molly returned to AA class the next week and the week after. She kept on going and, after nine months, was fully reformed. She had a new job, working for the State — Veteran’s Affairs, and she was able to help Jezabel with the rent. She was even dating again and had partial custody of her children.
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