I was born and raised on a farm and when I was very young, I was taught to work and drink. When I was twelve, I joined a tough and burly threshing crew where I was told, "If you can work like a man, you can drink like a man!" They brought beer and whiskey right to the fields for us and I soon fell in love with the buzz that booze gave me. I also wanted to look and feel macho like the rest of the men--so I kept going for the alcohol, even though it made me sick. I tried to keep up, drink for drink. At sixteen, I was starting to have blackouts, and blamed my family for my excessive drinking.