From the August 2012 magazine. First printed in January 2012.

August 2012: Club Grace

A newcomer dances with the night

There have been many moments of grace in the 34 years of my sobriety. Some were outstanding in their protection, guidance, and love. But none is more vivid than the first time I consciously experienced the miracle of AA within my own heart.

On New Year's Eve in 1973, I woke up in the alcoholic ward of a hospital in Washington, D.C. An angel from the AA desk had sent two people to my apartment in response to my drunken call of despair the day before. I was so far gone that I barely remember their Twelfth Step call that first day, but I do remember them coming to fetch me the next morning to go to the hospital. They had gone to the trouble of arranging a bed for me. Before I went down to their car, the last thing I did was to chug-a-lug a bottle of brandy. By the time I got to the hospital, I was as drunk as usual and so toxic from alcohol poisoning that the doctors decided to knock me out to keep me from convulsing. At least, that's how I remember it. I came to in the middle of the night. I was 30 years old, at a dead end, and I had no hope at all. I just wanted to make a fast end to it all.

-- Jackie B.

Alexandria, Virgina

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