From the November 2009 magazine.


November's Grapevine is, by tradition, our classic issue. Featuring some of the best stories published in the magazine over the last 65 years, it highlights the extraordinary growth of AA since its founding, affirms its unchanging principles and reminds us of the enduring nature of our disease.

This year, the focus is on women, beginning with a story written in 1944 by Lois W., the wife of AA's co-founder. Sharing what it was like to wake up and find "drunks all over the house," Lois offers a vivid glimpse of the early days of the program and rare insight into the profound--and not always happy--impact that AA had on her family. Describing what it was like "lurching in and out of Saigon traffic" in search of a meeting in the 60s, "Surrender in Saigon," from the January 1988 issue, depicts what it was like trying to get sober when "drinking problems required administrative action (like firing) not treatment." In "Families First," from the January 1948 issue, the author tells what it was like coming to terms with the damage her alcoholism did to her children, when there were so few women in AA to turn to for support. But she prevails. "I can't give them a home but I can give them understanding," she realizes. "I have to create a home of the spirit in which we all have a part."


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