Grapevine Online Exclusive

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.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

A Bunch of Weirdos
He didn't want what they had until he really needed their help

Living in the Here and Now
Things didn't go exactly as she had planned but that was alright

Upstairs at the Meeting
A very different world awaited this AA only steps from her local bar

Happy Endings
The story of a couple who met in AA and later married