From the July 1994 magazine.

I Had to Stop Drinking or Die

Celebrating twenty wonderful years in AA prompts me to ponder the journey and to reflect on how far I have come. It occurs to me that this excursion is never-ending. The experience of Alcoholics Anonymous is a kind of addiction in itself; the more benefits I receive from the Fellowship, the more I want. The further I "trudge the Road of Happy Destiny," the easier the journey becomes, and the more of life's encounters I crave.

When thrust upon the doorstep of AA in 1973, I was an undisciplined thirty-eight-year-old preadolescent. Totally self-absorbed, I believed that life owed me for all the injustices and unfair circumstances perpetrated upon me. Criticism, failure, or rejection (real or imagined) were impossible for me to handle. I couldn't deal with people or new experiences. I felt worthless, incompetent, and unproductive. I didn't fit in anywhere or with any group. No one on earth had any idea of how I felt or how life had mistreated me. And I accepted no responsibility for these maladjustments. Family, school, boss and society were at fault. If only they would treat me fairly, if only they understood, if only they would leave me alone, I'd be fine.

-- Joe D.

Eddyville, Kentucky

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