From the August 2012 magazine.

August 2012: Man in the Mirror

Thirty-three years ago, his reflection showed him the truth. Now he likes what he sees

On Nov. 30, 1978, at the tail end of another ugly drinking binge, I found myself staring at the bathroom mirror in my apartment. I was hoping to reach the elusive glow I had experienced the first night I drank alcohol and had chased ever since. That night, as I stared into the dirty mirror in my San Diego apartment, I could no longer lie to myself. I was probably the last person who believed I did not have a “drinking problem”—to put it nicely. I saw the real me: the drunken slob I had become, always pretending to be something or someone else. As I gazed into the mirror, I wondered...

-- Charlie A.

San Diego, California