Grapevine Online Exclusive

From the August 2015 magazine.

Before Leaving AA

She realized that she might be able to change the things she didn't like

On September 10, 1985, I came into Alcoholics Anonymous as a 25-year-old woman. I had had three failed suicide attempts and was crashing at my parents home. I had no money and no job. I truly was without any hope. The last three years of my drinking were hell. My last drinking escapade landed me on the floor of a psychiatric unit for eight days. The doctor told me if I did not quit drinking, I would not get better. I knew he was right. Sitting in that hospital, I knew I could not do it on my own. I had already been trying for several years.

I would stop for a few months and then I would decide that one drink won't hurt me and within a week I would be drinking every night. I had an aunt who went to AA and had eight years of continuous sobriety so I thought I would give it a try. My first meeting was on a Wednesday night down in an old church basement. The meeting opened with the Serenity Prayer and a reading of How It Works and the Twelve Traditions.

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