Magazine

From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: Cool Sand on My Feet

With AA, she has peace and knows where she stands

On a womens’ retreat in Rehoboth Beach I discovered another gift Alcoholics Anonymous has given me. In my four years of continuous sobriety, I’ve attended this particular biannual sober womens’ gathering six times. The retreat house is two blocks from the ocean on a wooded property overlooking a small lake. It’s the perfect place for reflection, meditation and prayer. I feel at home when I walk through the front door every March and September. In attendance are 20 women who are all part of my sober journey. Some of the women come to every retreat; sometimes we have newcomers, but the feeling of belonging never falters for me.

Before AA, I hated being around women. I had few women friends over my adult life, but the ones I did have moved on with productive lives while I retreated more and more into alcohol. I didn’t trust women. I envied them and felt in constant competition with any woman I met. Instead I sought men to comfort me. At the end of my drinking, I found myself alone and terrified. AA helped me change that cycle of envy and loneliness. I asked a woman for help to stop drinking and got more than I ever thought possible. I’m just realizing now that I gained an inner peace and sense of myself.

-- Laura C.

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

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