From the April 2011 magazine.

Story Archive: Happy Birthday--You're an Alcoholic

What it was like

I had my first drink at age eleven, but even before then I can remember feeling that I just didn't fit in. Before my fifth birthday, I'd figured out that death was inevitable. I remember crying, afraid that "God" was coming to get me. My older brother and his friends were teasing me, sitting on top of a fence which was too high for me to get to them. Fear. Anger. Resentment. I'd walk to school dreaming about being a TV character. I wanted to be anybody but me.

In third grade, I went up to the new high school that was being built and smashed shelves full of glass jars with nails in them, and cut open all the cement bags and dragged them across the floor, struggling against the weight. Why? I had thought it was fun, exhilarating, but today I know that I was a sick, angry kid.

-- Mike S.

Port Angeles, Washington

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