From the July 2013 magazine.

July 2013: A Few Cloudy Days

With no AA in prison, one alcoholic tells how Grapevines and members' letters brighten his day

I just began my 19th year of incarceration. When I was 15, my father died of alcoholism. I didn’t know how to cope with his death. I began to lash out and hang around with a street gang. I believed that I had to drink alcohol to have fun with my friends, to hide the real me and to cover up my insecurities. When I was 16—and under the influence of alcohol—I shot and killed a man at a party.

I used to treat alcohol as a friend, but a true friend will not cause you to lose your self-respect, distort reality and bring harm to others. I know for a fact that I would not be where I am spiritually, mentally and emotionally in my life’s walk right now if it were not for AA.

-- John V.

Jamestown, California

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