From the November 1979 magazine. First printed in August 1960.

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From the August 1960 Grapevine

IN THE FIRST edition of the Big Book was a woman's story--just one woman. But there it was for all to read: The earliest AAs accepted the fact that women suffered from alcoholism just as men did. Because of the social stigma that has so long haunted this illness, women have been reluctant to admit an alcoholic problem, even to themselves. Let's face it, most of the world still feels that "the hand that rocks the cradle" should by no means hoist the gin bottle. So we often have tried to hide, sometimes aided and abetted by family and friends.

Gradually, it became apparent that there was no corner dark enough to conceal an active alcoholic--man or woman. Attempts to shut ourselves away didn't conceal the facts or bring recovery, and "it" didn't go away. Progressively, we experienced more suffering, bewilderment, and abysmal loneliness. AA had long ago accepted us. We began to come in and found that it worked for us, too--this program of recovery, growing maturity, and a new kind of outlook that quickly shed the aura of black despair. We belonged. We had come home.

-- R. B.

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