Actor Chad Lowe knew he has alcoholic tendencies when he was a teenager trying to drink away awkward moments.
The 24 star has been sober for over three years, thanks to regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, but can still remember how booze took away his childhood inhibitions.
The 39-year-old actor explains, "I drank to change and alter my moods and to feel better... to deal with self-pity or depression, to a certain degree... It's (alcohol) like this wonder tonic.
"When you're awkward and you don't know how to act and you feel insecure and you're... 12 or 13... I realised after a first couple sips of alcohol, which I didn't like the taste of, (that) I sure loved the way it made me feel."
Lowe kept his alcoholism from everyone, including his big brother, actor Rob Lowe, but his ex-wife Hilary Swank discovered his dark secret and exposed it when she went public with their split early last year (06).
And, like so many recovering alcoholics, Lowe knows one drink could send him back to his darkest days.
He adds, "A lot of people can drink normally. I'm not one of those crusaders."