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A letter to Ann Landers

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By JOY KINGSBURY/for The Herald  —  In November of 1982, I read an article by Ann Landers in the Amarillo, TX Daily News. It is as relevant today as it was in 1982 and, since man first crushed grapes. I will copy the article, which I have saved, since it really hit home for me. I was then six months into sobriety thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dear Ann Landers: You have said more than once in your column that alcoholism is the No. 1 health problem. Not only in the United States, but also in many other countries in the world. Please print the message enclosed that came in the mail, anonymously. It was, I am sure, sent by someone who cared enough to let me know he (or she) was concerned about my drinking. I am taking the message to heart and hope others will too. We all know in our heart of hearts whether this pertains to ourselves. A strictly social, “take it or leave it”, person will smile remembering an evening with one of their friends who drinks uncontrollably. This article is very pertinent to drugs and other addictions.

Here it is. Titled: Positively Negative

We drank for joy and became miserable. We drank for sociability and became argumentative.
We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious. We drank for friendship and made
enemies. We drank for sleep and awakened exhausted. We drank for strength and felt weak.
We drank to feel exhilaration and ended up depressed. We drank for “medicinal purposes” and
acquired health problems. We drank to get calmed down and ended up with the shakes. We
drank for confidence and became afraid. We drank to make conversation flow more easily and
the words came out slurred and incoherent. We drank to diminish our problems and saw them
multiply. We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell. We drank to cope with life
and invited death.

Joy Kingsbury is an Oakridge resident and regular contributor to The Herald. Joy Kingsbury photo

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