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Return from Skid Row

A member recalls the fateful meeting with the man who became his sponsor

On June 6, 1973, I made the greatest step from the cradle to the grave. On that Friday night, I walked back into Alcoholic Anonymous a broken young man without any hope or aspiration for a better life. But I had experienced a profound spiritual awakening that had transformed my entire being and raised my life from the walking dead. Several days prior to my life changing experience, I was deep in denial, racked with self-loathing and riddled with self-pity. I was living among the lost without the hope of a better day.

I was down so low in life that getting up did not even cross my mind. But I met a men who exhibited such love and compassion that his image and words were engraved into my consciousness. In the course of that single moment, this man whom I had meet several months earlier would become my spiritual mentor for the next 37 years. He never judged me when I would show up so intoxicated, disheveled and dressed in those dingy clothes. He would always pull me close and with dignity and respect. He would quietly and gently say let us love you until you can love yourself.

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