From the August 2012 magazine. First printed in January 2012.

August 2012: Blessed with the Memory of My Pain

He hit bottom hard and didn't want to forget

When I was born, my father was a full-blown alcoholic and my mother was an untreated Al-Anon. However, when I was two, my father hit bottom and found the Fellowship of AA, and not long after, my mother found Al-Anon. My house often turned into the local detox center, since the only treatment facility in the area had a rule that drunks had to be dry for at least 24 hours before they could enter treatment.

So I grew up knowing all the program's slogans and philosophy. But that didn't stop me from feeling different and very alone. Since I was the middle kid (of three), my folks took pains to make sure I wasn't left out or lost as many middle kids are. I thought they were just trying to be nice to me because I wasn't as good as my brother and sister.

-- Dan R.

Kenner, Louisiana

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