From the November 2017 magazine.

Lonely Refuge

An African-American member recalls rough times growing up and how AA saved him from a long desperate road

It was a warm summer day when I walked down the seven steps to the AA meeting in northwest Portland. I was so full of fear; I thought nothing could be worse. I gathered all my mental reserves and determination. I did not know at the time that I was again in my Higher Power’s grasp. I also didn’t know at the time that to give up is to win. But I was completely, utterly desperate. 

My previous two years of drinking had included detox centers, hospitals, mental hospitals and wet sleeping bags. I had punched through fear many times in my life, especially during the previous four years as a homeless alcoholic. 

-- Henri C.

Tacoma, Washington, USA

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