From the June 2011 magazine.

June 2011: Lights Out

Even without electricity, a struggling alcoholic plugs in to a group’s sober energy

"Gingerly, I walked up to the door and opened it to find five people sitting in virtual darkness around a flickering candle, the result of a power outage."

My biggest concern in early sobriety was: I know it worked for you, but are you sure it will work for me? I believed I had fully surrendered and was convinced I wanted to stop drinking, but I wasn’t sure how AA would accomplish this. The concept of “One Day At a Time” had not fully resonated with me and the basic ideals of “unity,” “service” and “recovery” were an intellectual and spiritual stretch. My greatest fear was that I would repeat my tortured past, that the obsession to drink would come and I would succumb, as before. The result was always the same. I’d have a...

-- Paul McQ.

Long Beach, New York