From the December 2017 magazine.

Loving arms

One of the things I enjoy about AA is going to meetings when I travel or visit a new place.

Once, while visiting a small New England town, I went to a noontime Step meeting. It was a beautiful full-blossom May afternoon. I have to confess that this is the town where I had my first blackout at age 13. I spent many days there passed out on the beach under the guise of “having fun.” In sobriety, these ghostly New England towns don’t scare me as they did in the past.

The meeting had maybe a dozen people. We went around the room, each of us reading a paragraph or two from the chapter on the Fifth Step in the “Twelve and Twelve.” After we finished the reading, a man made a loud and clumsy entrance. He was breathing very heavily and seemed confused.

-- Cam A.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA

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