From the July 2011 magazine.

July 2011: Long Days Past

Confined to a prison without meetings, an inmate recalls when he, too, used to be “too busy”

"I said self-defense; they said murder."

I was first introduced to AA in 1977, at the tender age of 13. I was born and raised with alcohol. It was all I knew. To endure life, you must have beer in hand. My father, numerous family members and friends taught me this important life lesson, then most of them died of alcoholism.

After a major geographical change, and a terrifying near death experience, I decided to stop drinking in 1987. I went to both AA and NA, as I am a dual addict. I found a sponsor and we read through the Twelve Steps in an easier, softer manner, if you know what I mean. I managed to see some fruits, like moving up in my job. I Thirteenth-stepped a newcomer, whom I married and had a son with. Sober members suggested I should do some service, like going to visit people in jails or take meetings into prisons. I blew them off, telling them I had other things to do. I was just too busy. I knew that others would visit the jails and prisons.

-- Rusty R.

Abilene, Texas

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