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My sister would have turned 50 today. Alcoholism and drug addiction killed her 8 years ago, after a decades-long struggle to reclaim her life.
As a little kid she desperately wanted to be liked, to fit in. She'd come home from her early grades of elementary school crying that she had no friends.
For a while she found belonging in softball. Our family all went to her games to support her. At some point she failed to make the team, which was devastating for her.
Around the same time, at about age 14, as far as I know her history, a friend shared a stolen bottle of wine with her behind the local movie theater. I don't think she ever stopped drinking after that, except for one time, when she was pregnant with her son. She stayed clean and sober during her whole pregnancy. Aside from then, from 14 to 42 were hard years, and everything was a struggle.
She could be nice, fun, and caring. As adults we got along well, and talked often. I didn't trust her; she wasn't trustworthy, but I did like her.
As a teenager she stole, both from me and from businesses. She lied about anything and everything. She ditched school regularly, and snuck off to surf with her cool friends. It was a huge crisis for her when she didn't have the "in" jeans (Salt Of The Earth, in red) one year. She was dragged home, drunk, by the police. Once she and a friend ground up and snorted aspirin (to look like coke) at the beach so they could look cool in front of boys they liked. She would do anythin