From the March 2011 magazine.

Not Fooling Anyone, Even Myself

An old-timer’s journey out of fear and shame that people would find out he joined AA

When I came to my first meeting, alcoholism wasn’t a trendy thing. It was not yet the defense de jour for entertainers or politicians in trouble with the law. It was a word for derelicts of society. A boozer. A lush. It was the stuff of tragedy, and sometimes, comedy.

My great fear was that if word got out that I was an “alcoholic,” my law practice would come crashing down. Clients would not want to be represented by drunk. Added to this was a sense of failure and personal shame. Alcohol had me beat. It was destroying my business, my marriage and my family. At the insistence of my wife, I went to that first meeting.

-- Jim D.

Sylvania, Ohio

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