From the February 2019 magazine.

Early warning

The first time I got drunk, I was 8. It was at a Halloween party and I poured straight whisky into a tall tumbler. I couldn’t drink the whole glass so I poured the excess into a potted plant. In the morning, the plant was dead. It was an ominous warning as to what would happen to me years later.

When I was 11, my dad got cancer and died two years later. I stuffed the emotions and drank and drugged through school. I got my first DUI in college and the second one the year after graduation. I had no job and no car and I was living at home with the curtains closed—drinking. That’s when I called AA.

-- Joe F.

Loveland, Colorado

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