I was fifteen when I took my first drink of alcohol. I was with my girlfriend, and I thought her friends were so cool—the way they dressed, the way they acted. The way the boys thought they were cute. The way they drank and smoked—both cigarettes and pot. I didn’t think about my alcoholic dad, or my high chances of falling into the same traps as him—all I thought about was wanting to fit in.
Almost instantly, alcohol did for me what it had taken months of extensive work in twelve-step family support meetings to do. I felt pretty, interesting, popular, and fun. I could talk to people without worrying what they were thinking of me. I didn’t second-guess myself. It was as if I had found the secret potion I had been searching for my entire life.
I didn’t drink too much that night, but it was enough to give me a good buzz. I ended up kissing my friend’s boyfriend. I regretted it instantly and everything got smoothed over, but I blamed it all on the alcohol.
“I’m sorry, I was drunk, it wasn’t my fault” become my tagline for years to come…