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 to get married and have a baby girl. My drinking came to a halt on May 5, 2013. Hopefully that was my last sobriety date. Now it’s nine months into my new sobriety, my marriage is over, and I haven’t seen my daughter in six months. At age 45, I find myself for the first time in jail.

-- Anonymous

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