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Published February 2017.

Early Warning Signs

Alarm bells had been going off for this “Jekyll & Hyde” alcoholic all his life, but it took a felony charge for him to finally be able to hear them

Anyone carefully watching me grow up would have known I was headed for a life of alcoholism. The early warning signs were clear.

The favorite game my brother and I played at around ages seven and ten was “Gangsters.” He was James Cagney, I was Humphrey Bogart. We would sit down with a large bottle of root beer, two shot-glasses, and a pack of chocolate cigarettes, burning down shots and talking tough with a cigarette dangling from the corner of our mouth.

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