From the December 2011 magazine.

Rowing in the Lifeboat

An oldtimer chronicles his own fight against AA as a cautionary tale

When I got to AA, I didn't really want to stop drinking and wasn't at all sure I was an alcoholic. I was just clutching at straws trying to do something about my drinking to hold onto a teaching job, even though it was driving me nuts. I just didn't want to blow my resume by losing it.

When I got a bit more serious, I went to lots of meetings, stayed out of drinking places and said the Serenity Prayer a lot even though I didn't really believe in its first syllable. I still wasn't sure I was an alkie as my story was quite tame and sobriety seemed to be more of a new problem than an answer for me. I wasn't thinking about drinking but sobriety didn't seem like much of an answer and the first three Steps seemed like pretty difficult exercises in mental gymnastics.

-- Jim

Tasmania, Australia

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