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Published May 2015.

Bar Exams and Barrooms

While studying, he could hear the mirth and gaiety from the drinkers next door

I had been sober and in the Fellowship for 15 years, and was a practicing attorney in a northern state. After studying for six months at night and over weekends to sit for the Bar Examination in the South, the time had finally arrived to see whether I had what it took to pass the exam. I flew south and left my AA community back home. Because I had 15 years in the Fellowship, I wasn't concerned about picking up; but I was very concerned whether I could pass the Bar Exam.

I arrived and checked into a motel the day before the exam. I soon realized that many out-of-towners who were also sitting for the exam were staying at the same motel. Many were drinkers, and the motel's bar directly across from my room was packed the night before the exam. I heard the sounds of gaiety through the closed door of my room. I studied a little, and got to bed early. I slept poorly. It was a two-day exam. When I returned to my room at the end of the first day, I was frustrated, angry, anxious, and sinking into self-pity. I thought that I had failed the first half of the exam.

-- Anonymous

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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