Grapevine Online Exclusive

55 Years Later

An oldtimer reflects on a lifetime in AA

My name is Mac and I am an alcoholic. I wonder how many times I have said that at AA meetings since October 8, 1956. At the beginning I used my name as Dave, but since the 2000 Minneapolis convention I started to call myself Mac but that is another story with a spiritual twist; something like Saul becoming Paul on the road to Damascus.

This year, I celebrated my 55 AA anniversary. Gratitude is the prevailing spiritual emotion I am feeling mixed with a sense of wonder as I ponder how all this happened. I was a very sick, depressed and dangerous 21-year-old, recently discharged from the Canadian navy on a psychiatric discharge. It could have been a misconduct discharge. There were no military assessments or treatment for alcohol dependence in those days. It appears that gap in military healthcare has been remedied. Treatment and AA recovery were to become important later in my journey.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

Letter from a Texas Hotel
She learned of her grandfather's commitment to sobriety while reading old family letters

Sentenced to AA
A member shares his thoughts about AA's relationship to the court system

Return from Skid Row
A member recalls the fateful meeting with the man who became his sponsor

The Two Bottoms
He found out that it was possible to have a bottom in recovery too