From the September 2011 magazine.

Built on Rock

He learned that a strong belief in a higher power was the foundation he needed to stay sober

"My hope now has a home. It is built on rock and not on sand."

During a homegroup meeting, the main speaker referred to the Second Step as the "hope step." Her talk struck home with me, since I had, over the course of a number of relapses, experienced the hope that one experiences in returning to AA.

I must have set a record for relapses. I would (half) jokingly say in meetings that I had enough 30-day coins to tile my bathroom. I'm not sure that it was much of an exaggeration. But the relapses, while sometimes painful, would thankfully be short, and I would waste no time getting back into the welcoming arms of AA. That first meeting back always filled me with one unmistakable emotion: hope. "At least I have a fighting chance now," would be the "good" voice inside me saying things were going to get better.

-- B.B.

St. Louis, Missouri

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