From the October 2012 magazine.

October 2012: Off with the Masks

As the month of October arrives, I contemplate Halloween and the whole idea of the masks we wear. As I walk through sobriety, I realize now the many layers of masks I wore as an active drunk.

When I was a teenager I drank to douse the pain. That was the first mask. I wanted to hide all my shame and all my dislike for my body. I did not like my skin. I covered my feelings up with alcohol.

In my 20s, I wanted so much to succeed and belong. Being a Mexican, I thought if I “acted white” enough, I could succeed in the world and make something of my life. I did what people told...

-- Brenda M.

Boise, Idaho

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