From the May 1994 magazine.

A Benevolent Guardian

Tradition Five

When I got to this Fellowship, I knew nothing about it whatever. I only knew I hurt and I wanted to stop hurting--but without stopping drinking. After all, alcohol was the solution to my problems. It made life bearable. But for some reason I stumbled into a meeting and heard AAs tell their stories. They didn't look like drunks, but they certainly talked like drunks. I felt at home--without having any idea why I felt that way. I know now, of course. It was because these people had obviously been where I was, had thought what I was thinking, and had felt what I was feeling. I belonged there as I had never belonged anywhere in my life.

I was told to keep coming back, so I did (in those days I wasn't asked to come back anywhere very often). I went to a group that met only once a week and occasionally I would honor it with my presence. I had no intention whatsoever of stopping my drinking. I would drink, get more depressed, and invariably phone the central office--about 2:00 A.M. I remember the hour only because that's when the bars closed. Someone would talk with me while I told my long, woeful, drunken stories. Of course, I wouldn't tell the little group I attended that I was drinking constantly. Why bother them with little details like that?

-- Marion D.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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