From the July 2012 magazine.

July 2012: My Cold Metal Chair

Holding hands? Styrofoam cups? No way! Yet, she's grateful she stayed

I met Rachel, my youth leader, in the parking lot of the church 20 minutes before the meeting. I started to cry when I saw her. My body was flooding with fear. Never in my life did I think I would be so desperate that I would have to go to an AA meeting. I would be among all these older people who would just complain about their lives. I did not understand how that could possibly help me in the long run. We prayed together and headed inside for my first AA meeting.

I was addicted to drugs and alcohol since I was about 12 years old. I thought that it was just a phase of experimentation, a cry for help. My parents were too busy, caught up in their own lives and the lives of my three younger siblings, to notice the trouble I was getting myself into. I just wanted to escape from all the raw emotions I had been feeling for most of my life.

-- Jackie V.

Morristown, New Jersey

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