From the May 2011 magazine.

May 2011: Caught on Tape

He couldn’t believe the belligerent monster on the TV screen was him

There in front of me on the TV screen, was a complete and utter monster, a Jekyll and Hyde.

Your first AA meeting can be a scary place. You’re not only unsure about yourself and your reasons for being there, but you’re also overwhelmed with fear and doubt that the program actually works. You hear stories from individuals who’ve obtained significant amounts of sobriety time and have a sense of peace that you don’t quite understand. You wonder how long it’s going to take for you to obtain that same peace. Well, I was no different than you. Those very same thoughts haunted me. I was so terrified and overwhelmed, I almost gave up at the thought of trying.

At the age of 40, I found myself sitting in a meeting hall, unsure if I really needed to be there. I still held on to the idea that I didn’t have a drinking problem, I just wanted to shut up everyone who thought I did. Denial became a way of life. I spent over 20 years drowning in the denial that became my reality. Toward the end, I was going 110 m.p.h. down a very steep hill on a one way,  dead end road.

-- Brooklyn W.

Jacksonville, Florida

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