From the January 2012 magazine.

Ready for a Second Chance

She relapsed after years in the program only to see everything she'd worked for fall apart

At the age of 12, I was placed in a psych ward for two months for issues unrelated to alcohol use, but in retrospect, definitely of alcoholic thinking and temperament. There I met a girl who became my "best friend forever." A couple years later, it was she with whom I had my first drunk, followed by many, many more. Every time I drank, it was alcoholically: falling down, blind and stupid.

In spring of 1990, at the age of 21, I was indulging in a complaint-filled conversation with her about the latest argument with my dad. She told me perhaps I could try to let it go, to admit he was right, even though I felt justified in my anger. She asked if I could stop drinking for 30 days. All she got in response were my extended splutterings of disbelief, incredulous stares at the phone in my hand interspersed with whispered notions that the voice I was hearing was not that of my friend but perhaps the victim of an alien abduction.

-- Kristen C.

Santa Ana, California

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

All Aboard the AA Meeting
Two alcoholics hold an impromptu meeting aboard a cruise ship and help each other stay sober that day

Red Sea Challenges
A family tragedy brought this man into sobriety and a new life

Speed Bump
After a bicycle accident landed him in the hospital, he surrendered to the program of AA

Surgery in Sobriety
An AA member uses the Twelve Steps to help her with surgery and recovery