From the March 2014 magazine.

March 2014: The guy in the back corner

He was a man of few words, but when he spoke someone up front listened

My ego came into the program before I did. Even though I was at my bottom and just out of jail, I was angry at the world. I walked through the doors of AA and announced myself as an alcoholic. I knew I was an animal and I didn’t care about anyone else. I saw that the people in AA and I were different, but I couldn’t tell what it was. They told me to get a sponsor and I did. I didn’t use him, but at least I could say I had one. They told me to work the Steps, so I started on that.

Right after I started going to meetings I began to feel better. I started to work the Steps by myself—but that good feeling started to go away. I knew something was wrong, but I kept going. One day a guy came in and sat in the back corner. He was a tall, skinny, western-looking man completely different from the sort of city guy I was. His name was Willie. There was something about him. He would usually share toward the end of a meeting, and the things he said would still be with me days later. He talked about what God had done for him. He said things like, “God dollars” and “trudging the road” and he used the term “sought” quite a bit too.

-- Dennis S.

Lakeport, California

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