From the July 2008 magazine.

A Close Shave

When the going gets tough, a sponsor gets going

I walked into the back door of an AA meeting in south St. Louis on March 22, 2003. It's a small green house on a corner. A "facility," they call it--not really a club. A club would imply dues-paying members. This place saved my life and gave me a place to go when my family wouldn't even spit on me.

Here, I met a man who became one of the greatest people in my life. Graham P. was his name. He was my first sponsor.

I had been around before. I had been coming to that little house for five years. It was a place to be drunk for an hour and not have to hear my wife's voice. She...

-- Jeff G.

St. Louis, Missouri