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Facing Life

He found AA in prison and a new way to live

I took my first drink when I was 12. I got an older friend to buy a six-pack for me. We sat on a railroad signal light tower overlooking the town I grew up in and drank our beers. About an hour into our drinking, I had already spilled my guts and was in the process of puking up my dinner. I still don't remember how I got down off of that tower or how I made it home.

By the time I had that first drink, I was already riddled with fear, shame and anger. The source of all my turmoil began, I believe, with being raised in a family which appeared to be religious but in fact was anything but. The only thing religious about my family was the daily use of guilt, punishment and alcohol. I thought God was out to get me for everything r. did wrong and it was only a matter of time before He would. I wanted nothing to do with this God business. Even now, many years later, I still find it hard to believe that a divine being cares whether I attend meetings of AA or drown myself in alcohol.

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