Magazine

From the June 2019 magazine.

Grateful

When he heard that you couldn’t feel grateful and resentful at the same time, he grabbed his pencil and pad

My first visits to AA were interesting, but I was in and out of meetings for a few years. My third, and I hope last, driving violation really cost me and it scared me because it put my job and my house at risk. My relationship wasn’t on solid ground either, but I felt I wasn’t the only one with troubles. The crew at AA were very helpful, and while I didn’t really trust them, they genuinely did seem to want me to “get better,” though I was not sure what that meant at the time. 

The “non-religion” idea of the program was also confusing, especially since God was mentioned more than once on the wall posters and in the few pieces of AA literature I read. An old farmer at the meetings told me, “Religion is for people afraid of going to hell and spirituality is for people who have already been there.” I liked that guy. He was actually speaking to the room, not to me, but it was close enough. He cursed more than most, but he also laughed more than most. I didn’t understand spirituality much, but he said not to worry, to just keep coming back. So I did. Not long after that, I heard a woman say, “This AA thing we do is a spiritual program and the spiritual part of AA is like the wet part of the ocean.” More riddles.

-- Simon H.

Sag Harbor, New York

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Subscribe