From the July 1983 magazine.

Rearview Mirror

A FELLOW I MET through AA once said, "Sobriety is like driving the bus. The driver can't tell where he is on the road unless he looks in the rearing mirror to see here he's been."

I can look into my own rearview mirror and see in the background a lonely childhood and adolescence. I can see the personal isolation before and after I started to drink alcoholically. The mirror shows me the close friends I alienated, the people I discarded and those who discarded me, the family that endured my visits, and the employers who tolerated my demands and irascible personality. I can see the failing health with the facial swelling, bloody stomach contents, and frequent sick days because I was too numb to go to work, and the several distinct personalities to which my alcoholism contributed. I can see my despair.

-- A. L.

San Jose, California

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