From the January 2011 magazine.

January 2011: The Drunk Who Came in From the Cold

The bitter Alaskan wind blows a lost cause into the rooms of AA

Please do not disturb. I'm working on my isolation and despair.

Sixty days into my sobriety, around 10 p.m., during a cold 20-below-zero dark night in 2009, my old self-will deceived me into leaving a treatment facility in Wasilla, Alaska. Located on a ranch, the facility was, at that time in my life, the only hope and salvation from a lifetime of substance abuse. After intense objections from staff counselors, clients, my biological son and my AA sponsor, I remained stubborn and determined to prove everything was under control when realistically my way of thinking was way out of control.

So, there I was walking off into the unknown of an...

-- Ron M.

Barrow, Alaska