From the September 2011 magazine.

September 2011: Keep the Change

A transition from drunk to sober, unworthy to deserving, woman to man …

"I arrived, walking right into an environment that, in 21 years of sobriety, I have made it a point not to frequent—a bar."

So many sayings get burned into our memory in early recovery: “Easy Does It,” “First Things First,” and so on. We call upon these slogans in moments of trouble; they help us remember that we’re alcoholics who can’t drink safely, and remind us of the consequences if we try to.

Last night, I was reminded of a truism I’ve heard repeated over and over: “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Never has an expression meant so much.

The scene that played out began with me sitting in a bar, waiting for my colleague to arrive for our prearranged meeting. When we...

-- Malkiel-Robert

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada