From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: My Messy Valentine

Some people lose their car on a night out—he misplaced his girlfriend

In the winter of ’77, I was born into a blue collar, drinking family. We lived in the suburbs of New York City. Being the youngest of four, I had everything I needed and some things that I wanted as well. Looking back, I can say that I was born an alcoholic, but that had nothing to do with my upbringing.

My diseased thinking brought me to suicidal thoughts even before I started drinking. When I picked up that first drink at 13, all those thoughts and feeling went away. Despite drinking through high school, I did well both academically and athletically. I excelled in baseball, which helped me get into a really good university. I moved into New York City with high hopes. My drinking took off quickly as I found a group of friends who drank like I did. I managed to graduate on time, but I threw away a potential career in baseball, and squandered away an ivy league education. After school, I took a job in real estate. That only lasted a year before I fell into the family business as an ironworker.

-- Doug M.

New York, New York

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