From the February 2014 magazine.

February 2014: Was it You?

I went to my very first AA meeting by myself on April 21, 1985. I was petrified. I got close to the door and some guy said, “Hi, I’m Tom. Welcome.” How grateful I am for him and that night. I still see Tom today, and he still says hello to people at the door. They asked for someone to do the coffee, and I raised my hand—actually a power greater than me raised my hand. I will never forget how the people that night made me feel.

So I didn’t drink no matter what, and I kept showing up, and over the past 25 years a lot has happened. I’ve been employed and unemployed. I’ve been single and in relationships. I’ve been broke and I’ve done well. My 9-month-old niece passed away when I was seven years sober. I graduated from college—the same one that kicked me out— when I had 13 years. And later that same year, my dad passed away. I bought the house I grew up in when I was 15 years sober. My sister passed away when I had 20 years. I don’t know how many weddings and funerals I’ve been to sober. This past year, I babysat my nephew just about every Friday night—what a gift! I finally bought the convertible I had always wanted. I became a reverend so I could marry my friends in North Carolina over Labor Day weekend. And in December, I passed the CPA exam.

-- John S.

Boca Raton, Florida

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