From the November 2019 magazine.

3 days to freedom

They cried, laughed and shared secrets. At a picnic table on the prison yard, his life changed forever

Looking back, I can see now that my recovery has been a process, not a single event. On a few occasions, a judge gave me a nudge in the direction of AA by requiring that I go to a few meetings and get a piece of paper signed. But none of these attempts worked and my life continued in a downward spiral. 

I eventually got to the point where I wanted some help. At least I thought I wanted help. But my idea of recovery at that time was to go to AA speaker meetings and only listen to people talk about how much better their lives got after they quit drinking. I was sure that if I didn’t drink my life would be great too. But I didn’t ever seem to hear the words “sponsor” or “Higher Power” or “Steps.” I thought those things were for everybody else, not me. I continued to go only to speaker meetings, and eventually my mind told me that it would be OK for me to sell drugs as long as I wasn’t using them.

-- Richard T.

Billings, Montana

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