From the December 2011 magazine.

Angel in the Glass

A woman looks back at the ups and downs of 10,000 days of a sober life

The alcoholic gene runs strong in my family, and I picked up my first drink at age 12. I was a guzzler from the start. What I sought from booze was some ease and comfort, and a respite from my gnawing sense of separateness and inferiority. What I got from booze was falling down, vomiting, the spins, and humiliation.

I was determined never to do that again! Was I not a straight "A" student? A little actress, singing and dancing on stages? A nationwide television model? I had been a very successful child until 12, and surely I could choose not to drink.

-- Lisa R.

Denver, Colorado

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