From the September 2011 magazine.

October 2011: Six-pack and Back

After 34 years in and out, a man finally finds his HP and gets sober

"When I was 14 and was again the new kid, I discovered beer."

I was born in 1956, a super-sensitive child. Before I turned 5, I almost drowned, and I was hit by a car. The world scared me. My dad was rarely home. My mom was a tight ball of frenzied frustration and yelled at us kids. I got one bath a week, on Sunday nights. My brothers called me stupid and made fun of me all the time. I was always picked on in school. We moved to a small town, and I didn’t want to make any friends because we’d just end up moving again.

When I was 14 and was again the new kid, I discovered beer. An acquaintance had brought a six pack to school. I had four of them, and suddenly the world looked different. My fear dissipated. Something deep inside me changed that day.

-- Daniel T.

Davenport, Iowa

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