Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published December 2011.

Web Exclusive: AA Friends

A man reflects on the death of a close friend in AA

I'm not quite sure how to write about the friend that I lost recently in Alcoholics Anonymous. He is the man mainly responsible for helping me come out of my shell. I loved him dearly, but I did not act like a friend should all of the time. He did act like a friend all of the time to me though. He tried to include me in some of the fellowship that is a part of AA, but I refused at first. It was easier to go home than to socialize and be a little uncomfortable.

One day, he invited me to go with him and a few of the old timers to dinner and a meeting one night, and I said yes. The drive in the car was no problem because I could look out the window while the other guys talked and joked. I would let out an occasional laugh or one word comment which would buy me some time. When we finally arrived, we sat down at the table and ordered glasses of ice tea and some soda. When mine arrived, I guzzled it down with a big sigh at the end. He looked at me and said, "Oh, you can hang out with us, I see you drank just like us." It was his way of making me feel comfortable when I was about as uncomfortable as I could get.

-- Anonymous

Long Beach, New York

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