From the February 2012 magazine.

The End of a Sad Soap Opera

With her life in shambles and knowing nothing of AA, she remembered a sober character on a tv show and picked up the phone

I grew up a pretty responsible person. I began working when I was 14 years old and have not stopped since. I was always a loner and had my share of low self-esteem during my upbringing. When I was growing up, I was identified as being mature and received respect in my neighborhood from the adults and my peers.

In 1998, at the age of 23, I gave birth to a son. Things changed for me shortly after that. My son's father and I were a couple for about 6 years prior to the pregnancy. We moved from our parents' homes to our first apartment. We both worked and loved our son—he was spoiled. I loved to cook and take care of my family. We were reasonably happy, at first.

-- LaGene W.

New York, New York

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