From the June 2011 magazine.

June 2011: An Unencumbered Man

AA had ruined his drinking; now it ruined his isolation

"One night a group member said, “We’re going out to eat. Join us.” Reflexively, I begged off."

In the years I had seen him in and around the rooms, he seemed to me an unencumbered man, a man who had gone through life alone. At a meeting one evening, he acknowledged his solitary path when he shared that some pressing reason would compel him to rush home at the end of a meeting rather than hang out with group members afterward. He would get home only to realize that there had been no pressing reason to rush off. The result was that, night after night, year after year, he would eat alone. I had heard this sort of thing before, AA men and women acknowledging their difficulty in easing...

-- David S.

New York, New York