Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published December 2013.

Five Years Later

After a long relapse he came back to AA and found a God of his understanding

I first came to AA when I was 23. I hadn't drank long, but in what drinking I did, I discovered the answer I didn't know I was looking for, to a problem I didn't know I had. I stayed dry for over six years, drank for a few months, and then landed in a psychiatric hospital. When I left there, I stayed dry for another five years, during which time I married a wonderful woman and moved several times.

Although I'd taken inventory when I was new in AA, and shared it with my then-sponsor, I'd never done anything about the items I'd found in my inventory. To use Bill's analogy of the shopkeeper, it was as if I'd identified and counted everything on the shelves, and then done nothing to transform or rid myself of the defective stock items. Instead, I just let them sit there to rot and fester, where they not only ate away at my profits by consuming valuable shelf space, but also disgusted my customers and myself, so that neither of us wanted to be there!

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