From the October 2013 magazine.

October 2013: Sober in Key West

He went south to party hard, but his HP had a much better plan

They say things happen for a reason. Little did I know how meaningful those words would be on the morning of January 3, 2012. My girlfriend and I had recently gone through an ugly breakup in Brooklyn after six disastrous months, so I temporarily moved back home to Jackson, Miss. So here I was, taking a plane to Key West, Fla., to visit Patrick, one of my oldest friends. My intentions were to a) get as wasted as I could; and b) run from the mountain of problems in my life. In hindsight though, it seems that God brought me to Key West for something different.

I am, without a shadow of a doubt, a colossal alcoholic. From the age of 16, when I started filching leftover beer out of the back of my stepdad’s pickup truck, and for the next 25 years, alcohol ruled me. DUIs, jail, rehab, broken relationships, lost jobs, evictions—and on and on. Oh yeah, and I almost got beaten to death by a guy I’d met in a bar once. There was that, too.

-- John T.

Key West, Florida

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