From the November 2017 magazine. First printed in February 1992.

Learning to fly

An alcoholic woman in California recalls the very early pioneer days of Alcoholics Anonymous

My name is Sybil, and I’m an alcoholic. I got to this Fellowship in 1941, and I want to just reminisce with you a little bit about the olden days, what I call the covered wagon days.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband asked me if I could recall my last drunk, and I said, “Yes, I can.” I was driving along one day, wanting to go home but afraid to because I couldn’t face anyone, and I ended up in San Francisco. Now I couldn’t go home for sure—it was the next day. What was I going to do? Shaking, sweating, eyes bloodshot, face puffed up, I’d run out of lies, and I thought, If I go home right now it’s going to be too late. I can’t think of a lie that will wash.

-- Sybil C.

Los Angeles, California, USA

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