Ted Parker grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, the son of an alcoholic house painter and a truck-stop waitress mother. In high school, he was a gifted athlete which gained him limited access to the in crowd of his high school. He soon began attending parties at the homes of some of the wealthiest kids in school. There was often alcohol served at these parties and he discovered that he seemed to fit in much easier when he had a bit of a buzz on when he drank. Little did he kw that these early drinking experiences were priming him for a long and difficult battle with booze. As he grew older, Ted was to become what is kwn as a highly functioning alcoholic. Sex was also to become a damaging co-obsession. For years, he justified his sexual behavior because he didn't screw around with other women when he wasn't drinking. When he was his good self, he was a loving husband and father. His demon self only surfaced when he was drinking which, as time passed, he found himself doing more and more. At times, Next to Normal is humorous in ironic and sometimes disturbing ways. But, for the most part, it is a brutally honest look at how well meaning human beings can become dominated by demons that seem beyond their control. It will also give hope to others either fighting the same battles with their own personal demons or those involved in a close relationship with ather person who is.