From the April 2011 magazine.

Story Archive: Don't Call Me Young

Learning to love oneself at any age

The last thing I wanted was to be seen as a "young person" in AA when I came in at twenty-seven. I was one of those who wanted to be forty years old with ten years of sobriety in the first week. Once I got to AA, after being beaten into submission by my disease, I was very clear on being powerless over alcohol, but I did not understand the second half of the First Step. I had so much pride that I could not admit my life was unmanageable.

Maybe that is why I could not be around the young people in my county; they could admit that they were not able to manage their lives. All I knew was that I was afraid. I thought by hanging around with people my age and younger, I would drink again for sure. So, I tried to be around the old-timers. This was in the day when a lot of them would tell people off and lecture a lot, but they were rock-solid sober and a far better bet for me.

-- Maryellen O.

San Anselmo, California

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