“That evening I wanted to go to a teenage party, and I wanted to drink alcohol, the grownup beverage of choice, the potion glamorized on TV and in movies, the stuff the older cool kids were drinking every weekend. I wanted to be cool. I wanted to fit in. Whatever it took.”
She was attractive, popular and determined to grow up in a hurry. How would she have known that at age thirteen, during her first teenage drinking party, her life would play out in such a way that it would rule her life decisions going forward? The handsome boys and pretty girls were guzzling a certain punch, and she wanted to be like them. Tentatively, she ladled the jungle juice from the punch bowl and had her first sip of alcohol. She wanted more. It couldn’t have come at a better time. This is what she’d been searching for – relief. Instant relief.
Getting drunk becomes her rite of passage as she careens through junior and senior high school caving in to peer pressure for her need to feel accepted. Through secretarial school and early jobs, her twenties are a blur. Quicker than she can take a tequila shot in a Mexican café, change her lovers weekly, and party with the dregs of society, as well as the socialites and future executives – Nancy finds a lifestyle that seems to work for her. She continues on and drinks and uses cocaine through the snows of Aspen, the desert heat of Scottsdale, the California coast and her Pennsylvania homelands, only to find herself alone and desperate in her quest for love and her own identity. Milk, she decides, has a longer shelf life than her romantic interludes. Surfer Boy, Boston Boy, Blondie Boy. Her big question becomes, who is going to marry her? As she approaches her early 30’s, she thinks getting married will fix her.
“I am sitting on my couch finishing up a second bottle of Two Buck Chuck, watching Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex and the City,” crying and wondering why I’m still single. I understand why Sarah is single. She spends too much money on shoes, and no one wants to marry a shoe whore. She had the perfect man too. She was a fool to let Aidan get away. Ever since high school the perennial question from my parents and friends was always the same, “Are you going to marry him?”
It never occurred to Nancy to blame her loneliness on her beverages of choice. She’d kept her career going. She wasn’t an alcoholic. In fact, she relished hearing confessions of real alcoholics so she could assure herself that they—and not she—had a problem. Hello, Black Kettle? This is Pot calling! Terribly alone after receiving her second DUI at age 37, Nancy experiences a moment of clarity. She’s been looking for answers everywhere but the place she least wants to examine: the mirror. What glares back at her is over twenty-four years of living life in the fast lane, zooming by all the red flags.
“Sitting in the jail cell I thought about hitting bottom. I could stop digging now. My life couldn’t get any worse….How could years of my free-wheeling lifestyle as a partier, mainly a social drinker, bring me to this place?”
Compelled by a judge, Nancy walks into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and begins the hellacious journey of rethinking her life to finally find what she’d been searching for – her true self. Now sober for over ten years, married and with a thriving career, Nancy wants to tell other young women what she wishes someone had told her.