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...

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Burlington, Kansas