From the January 2013 magazine.

January 2013: Sober at 12

I got sober when I was 12. My sobriety date is July 8, 2009. I know you’re probably thinking, What is a 12-year-old doing in AA? Well, I was getting into a lot of trouble with the law and doing drugs, drinking alcohol and disrespecting my family. I started when I was 8 years old. When I turned 12, my mom sent me to a rehab, where I stayed for a year and seven months. It was really hard for me, at first, to not be able to see my family. But the sponsor I had at the time helped me go through it all.

I’ve always had problems with sponsorship. I’ve changed sponsors about five times in my sobriety. It’s me, not them. It’s not because they do their service wrong, it’s because I don’t want to listen. It is still very hard for me to share with them. One time I went five months without talking to my sponsor, but then when I did, I felt like I got a load off my back. I felt lighter and my conscience felt clean. The sponsor I have now is a good one. He’s always taking me to service opportunities and events all over California. We even went to Vegas once! He always tells me that AA is not just about sitting in a room for an hour or two. We get to pass on the message as it was passed to us.

-- Axel M.

Milpitas, California

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