From the December 2012 magazine.

December 2012: Stopped by the Cops

An encounter at the mall changes three peoples' lives forever

STEP TWELVE: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I am a handicapped man who uses a wheelchair. I’m also an alcoholic. In March 2010, I took a public bus to the mall to see a movie. As I got off the bus to cross the street, I saw a police car waiting to make a left turn. I’ve always had a destructive hatred toward anyone in a position of authority—especially the police. The two officers in the vehicle stared at me intently, so I got very uncomfortable. I felt that they were gawking at me. When I was in my early 20s (I am 58 now), it was the police who always handcuffed me when I was arrested. I was arrogant, conceited and very proud then, which got me into a lot of trouble. I was sent to a penitentiary once for four years, and I thought the problem was the judge. And, of course, I blamed the rest on the jail guard. After I was released, I had an attitude of revenge.

-- Guillermo C.

Tucson, Arizona

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