Magazine

From the June 2018 magazine.

Luck of the Irish

If you’re very far from home and desperate enough, finding a meeting in Ireland can be quite remarkable

Life was good. With 18 months in AA, I was doing what I was supposed to do. Making meetings, being active, doing service and feeling grateful. I was sober and I felt I was ready to make a trip back to Ireland and visit my family. I never told them I was in AA because I still had some shame about being an alcoholic. But I went back and all went well. I felt I didn’t need a meeting, and I managed. Nobody had to know anything other than I had just stopped drinking.

That trip went so well, I decided to return about a year and a half later. On this second sober trip, one morning I went down to the local store for a newspaper. As I came out, I saw an old schoolteacher of mine crossing the street heading my way and I emotionally went to pieces. He used to love to physically punish me with his swishing cane, as it came down on my 12-year-old fingers. He would also put his hands on my face. One hand held my face steady and the other hand slapped me repeatedly. He was brutal and I feared him more than anyone I ever came across.

-- Anonymous

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