From the June 2014 magazine.

Bottom of the Pile

With no AA in a county jail, a newcomer wonders how he’ll stay sober

I grew up looking up to people like my father, who drank and lived in chaos. When I got to AA in 2005, I was 36 and pretty beat up. I had nothing to show for myself but a lifetime of failure. My first nine months not drinking were spent in a homeless shelter, where I was introduced to AA, had a spiritual awakening and got sober.

Five years into sobriety, I started to do other things to substitute for the alcohol. So in April of 2012, I finally had a drink. I’d call it a relapse, but that had really happened two years earlier. I picked up seven white chips in 14 months, and managed...

-- Anonymous