From the April 2015 magazine.

Strapping Myself In

The ups and downs of a super young AA

When I was 9, my parents went on a vacation and left my 15-year-old brother and me in the house alone. A party immediately broke out among my brother’s heavy metal friends. I got drunk and always remembered that warm feeling I got from alcohol. I couldn’t believe the power and effect it had on me. I became a believer at once, and I wanted more.

My mother was alternately sweet, loving, angry and abusive. One year she threw out our Christmas tree and kicked my father out of the house. Things often got volatile and police would come to our home. My co-dependent tendencies came to the fore as I dutifully cleaned up after each explosion. My drinking continued on weekends and then during the week, always with my brother. I also attended keggers and punk rock shows. Then my brother joined the navy, which left just my mother and me at the house.

-- Michael J.

Albany, Oregon

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!