From the July 2014 magazine.

Panic at the Liquor Store

Like many of us, I grew up in a home that was quietly ravaged by alcohol abuse. My active father occasionally acted out through his dark moods and the occasional outburst of anger, but he always managed to keep a good job and to pursue the things that he loved in life: reading, painting and writing.

What none of us recognized was that he was getting worse. Later on in his career he survived on B12 shots laced with speed given by a local doc, and the late morning drink. He was able to retire before he got into any serious trouble with his company, and my parents returned to France after 35 years away. The one thing that I learned from my father was how to self-medicate. By age 28, my drinking had progressed to the point where it was starting to cause problems for my family, and especially for the woman I was married to at the time.

-- Michel S.

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

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