From the July 2011 magazine.

August 2011: Fractured Friendship

Two women, inseparable in drinking and sobriety, until one relapses

"She could not find the language of the heart we had together as sober friends."

My last drinking buddy turned into my first sponsor.

Our final night on the town ended with her swerving home across the Golden Gate Bridge and misplacing her car somewhere in Sausalito. Two weeks later, I called, suggesting we visit our favorite bar. She turned me down, stunning me with her reason: “I’m sober now.”

Her words hung in the air as I tried to interpret their meaning. I could hear the smile in her voice, as she continued. “I’m in AA. I’ve been sober for five days. Do you want to go to a meeting with me?” I manufactured a reason to hang up the phone...

-- Suzan C.

San Francisco, California