From the August 2013 magazine.

August 2013: A Tragic Day in Central Park

He was sober, in love, everything was going great—then his sunny day went dark

I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and by most accounts, I lived in a loving community and felt supported. Right around the time I started drinking my sober dad relapsed, and my parents separated. I promised myself that I would never allow drinking to get in the way of those I loved. From the beginning, I was a blackout drinker. After a handful of drinks, the self-doubts that plagued me would melt away, and I could be the person I wanted to be. By securing a fake ID while still in high school, I was that guy who got booze for my friends for parties. I found something I was good at! This was the beginning of my “golden years” of drinking.

I went off to college in sunny California and the drinking escalated rapidly, as it did for most of my peers. Blacking out four, five times a week was pretty normal—along with waking up in “new and exciting” places. Aside from a few trips to the hospital (it turns out that diving head- first into a bike rack is a bad idea), I escaped largely consequence-free.

-- Alex S.

San Francisco, California

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