From the September 2011 magazine.

September 2011: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

A quarter of a century sober and they still don't talk about it

"They know I go to AA meetings and celebrate my birthday every year, but they never ask, so we don’t talk about it."

I started smoking pot at the age of 12. Alcohol was quickly added at 13. By the time I was 15, I knew there was something wrong, that I had a problem. Hiding my use was easy. I got good grades and manipulated my way through childhood. I even managed to get a two-year degree, drinking and drugging the entire time.

In college, every day was a good day to drink. I usually found someone to do it with, but either way I always drank. At an end-of-year dorm awards party, I was named “dorm drunk.” I was mildly ashamed and embarrassed, but also confused. No one at college had ever said a word to me about my drinking.

-- Rochelle L.

Portland, Oregon

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