From the May 2018 magazine.

Take the steps

An old-timer, once known as Shaky Jake, walks us through the program that changed his life

I had my last drink on Thanksgiving Day, 1973. I had just been arrested at 2:45 that morning for my fourth DWI and I was in jail again. Sometime in the early afternoon, I was released from the drunk tank and went home to my filthy hovel, where I lived with my two small sons, who I had dragged around with me all over the country for the past year.

We lived on the first floor of a condemned dope house in Lakeland, Florida, and I was three weeks behind on the $10 a week rent on an apartment that had no doors or windows and no utilities. I was $40,000 in debt with checks kited all over from Rhode Island to Las Vegas and back to Florida. I was down to about 106 pounds, and they called me “Shaky Jake, the human nerve” at my home group.

-- Doc

Blue Springs, Missouri

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