Friends didn't tell my drinking was getting out of control: Kennedy

      Former US Senator Ted Kennedy, who died last month from brain cancer, has revealed in his autobiography that his friends did not warn him that his drinking or his private life was getting out of control in the 1970s and 1980s. "My friends didn't tell me that my drinking or my private life was getting out of control, but maybe that's because we were all having too much fun at the time. Certainly it didn't affect my Senate work. What was unspoken between me and my friends was my reason for excess. It was all part of my desire to escape, to keep moving, to avoid painful memories," Politico quotes an excerpt from the book, as saying. "There came a point in my own life when I stopped looking forward to things. There had been so much loss....This is not to say I didn't enjoy life during those years. I am an enjoyer. I have enjoyed being a senator; I enjoyed my children and my close friends; I've enjoyed books and music and well-prepared food, especially with a generous helping of cream sauce on the top. I have enjoyed the company of women. I have enjoyed a stiff drink or two or three, and I've relished the smooth taste of a good wine. At times, I've enjoyed these pleasures too much," Kennedy adds. "I lived this string of years in the present tense, not despondently, because that is not my nature, but certainly with a sense of the void....All of this began to change when I rang the doorbell of the home in Northwest D.C. where I had been invited to dinner on the evening of June 17, 1991, and found myself looking into the beautiful hazel eyes of Victoria Reggie," he said. Kennedy also describes his first marriage to Joan as a relationship that was both young and na├»ve. "We both had high expectations for a successful marriage. Sadly, that was not to be. Joan was private, contemplative, and artistic, while I was public, political, and on the go, " he says, adding that the relationship atrophied. Joan, he said, also suffered with alcoholism. "I myself drank too much at times and feel exceedingly lucky to have been spared addiction. I do not blame Joan for the demise of our marriage. Nor do I agree with some of the account she has given as to the reasons for its demise. I regret my failings and accept responsibility for them and will leave it at that," he said.

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