From the January 2015 magazine.

Take a risk

With spurs and spiky wristbands she found her way to AA

I knew I was an alcoholic by the time I was 19. I’d grown up around severe alcoholism. My grandfather went to the state hospital because of his drinking, and my uncle, who lived with us for 10 years during my childhood, was unable to work or take care of himself because he had “wet brain.” Eventually, he drank himself to death. I saw the consequences of untreated alcoholism, and I knew I didn’t want to go down that road. What I didn’t know was how to quit drinking.

I had my first drink at 14 and immediately began suffering the consequences. I had precarious relationships with older men who did not have my best interest in mind. At 16, I dropped out of high school because I felt alienated from my peers. At 17, I left home late one night after yet another conflict with my father.

-- Mily T.

San Francisco, California

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