From the December 2008 magazine.

You Have the Right to Remain Sober

The hard truth shows a newcomer in jail that recovery is serious business

In 1992, at the behest of my wife-to-be, I attended my first AA meeting. I walked into a smoky hall to find ten or so men seated around a table in the center of a room. I sat on the periphery, afraid to "intrude." Somehow, they knew I was a newcomer. When a gentleman won the Big Book in a raffle they held, he came over and handed it to me. His eyes were smiling when he said, "Welcome."

I was suspicious and yet comforted that there were people like me. I read a good part of the book that night, and decided that, armed with this knowledge about alcohol as an illness and perhaps...

-- Bob B.

Portland, Maine