From the August 2013 magazine.

August 2013: In the Rustle of the Leaves

His sponsor is gone, but he can still be heard on a crisp fall day

My sobriety date is July 10, 1993, the day I entered treatment. I’d like to tell you that I never looked back, became overjoyed in recovery and have never had a problem since. If you believe that, let’s all hold hands, recite the Serenity Prayer and adjourn. A lot of life on life’s terms happens over the course of 18 years.

I grew up in a small town in Kansas where there is little anonymity. If you are a drunk, everybody knows it, and everybody knows who “goes away to dry out.” The man who became my first sponsor “went away” in 1990, as the result of an intervention by his family. Drinking toward my bottom, I remember him coming home from drying out. I would see him around town and think to myself, If he can do it, maybe I can too. Flash forward to 1992. We were in a Bible study group at our church. Drink in hand, I would think to myself, Tonight is the night I am going to talk to Doc. I never gained the courage. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that people are not watching us sometimes with a drink still in their hands. I watched Doc for three years, until the time came for me to get sober.

-- Steve T.

Burlington, Kansas

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