From the January 2014 magazine.

January 2014: Transformed

A past delegate tells how young peoples meetings and service changed her life

When I came to Alcoholics Anonymous I was 14 years old and half my head was shaved. I was a self-proclaimed punk rock girl and wore baggy jeans and combat boots. I painted my face white and my eyes and lips black. I had reached a place of complete and utter isolation, and my appearance was just a last ditch effort to keep society away from me. And it worked. Who goes up to a crazy person and asks them how their day is? No one.

When I got to AA, the people there were unaffected by my unlovely appearance. I find this humorous today, because my first home group in Texas was a bunch of old men, and although everyone is old when you’re 14, these guys really were old. They’d been sober since God. They all smoked like freight trains and drank a ton of coffee. But they became my cheerleaders. They made me feel safe and never verbally humiliated me or bullied me. They didn’t tell me they spilled more than I drank; they gave me coffee and told me stories about themselves and AA and how it “used to be.” These old guys made me feel a part of and offered me a solution—and boy did I jump on it.

-- Jennifer D.

Wilmington, North Carolina

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