Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world?
Which of us has his desire? Or having it, is satisfied?

—William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair

Only two things have I ever craved as much as life itself: drink and a man. To save my life, I had to give up the drink. To give up the drink, I had to give up the man.

My desire for both was total, visceral: passion seeking its own DNA. The bond was physical, emotional, spiritual, chemical—drink, man, and I locked in a menage a trois.

It began, however, as a folie á deux. Alcohol was my first love: a constant, if feckless, companion in negotiating the scary home life of my teens. Early on I fell into the addict’s faulty logic: I felt “normal” only when I was high.

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