From the February 2000 magazine.

Freedom to Be

I have a photo of myself at my thirty-third birthday party in September 1978. I'm drunk at a table in a restaurant surrounded by dirty dishes and empty wine bottles. A week later, I got so drunk at a county fair I had to be driven home. A few days after that, I walked into an AA meeting. On October 1, 1998, I celebrated twenty years of sobriety.

What does it mean to have twenty years? The truth? I've written a few other stories for the Grapevine over the years and I've tried to keep them upbeat, basically because AA is upbeat. But there is also another side.

-- John Y.

Russell, Pennsylvania

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