Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published August 2011.

Web Exclusive: The Chip on My Shoulder

Anger at AA turns to gratitude and turns his sobriety around

I rode my bike to the Desert Club in search of someone "cool enough" for me to hang out with (which meant listen to me cry about my problems).

When I was sober 12 years I decided to move from my home in Chicago to Albuquerque, New Mexico to pursue a new life. I left behind a great home group, a great sponsor, great friends, a great job and a great city. I brought with me a sizable chip on my shoulder. I never gave Albuquerque a fair chance. Wherever I went I would prattle on about how much better Chicago did things. We drove better, ate better, got sober better, lived better etc. I would show up in meetings and complain about how I wasn't given a proper welcome. My resentment started soon after.

When I was called on to speak I would go on about how we did it back home. Essentially my contribution amounted to nothing other than, "I'm Jason, I'm an alcoholic, and you're doing it wrong." It didn't take long for people to tire of this, which meant I had to try harder to force my opinions on people. I would attend group conscience meetings just to further my belittling of Albuquerque and it's AA fellowship. Again, it didn't take long for me to earn a reputation and a nickname that I felt was unfairly bestowed by heathens who didn't know any better.

-- Jason K.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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