From the April 2011 magazine.

Story Archive: Progress Not Perfection

I started drinking at the age of twelve. My weekends were filled with parties and driving around with friends getting drunk. I learned quickly that if I hung around with older guys and flirted with them I got as much alcohol as I wanted. I liked the feelings of excitement and escaping from myself. I wanted to be twenty, not twelve. I didn't want my mom ruling over me and interfering with my drinking and my social life.

After only two years of drinking, I crossed that invisible line into alcoholism. The summer before my freshman year in high school was one big blackout. I was raped...

-- S. M.

Brookings, South Dakota