From the May 2009 magazine.

Here, with open arms

I was not very serious about this AA thing. I went to jail meetings for about a third of my young life--to drink the coffee or to visit with people. There was a man there with whom I argued, trying to justify my drinking. He looked me dead in the eyes and simply said, "Young man, you're a hardhead just like I was. You're not going to quit until you're dead or grow up and realize, and make the most painful decision in your life, that you have had enough. No matter how hard it gets, the AA Fellowship will always have open arms waiting for you."

I will never forget that moment. He saw the torment and pain that I hid very well from everyone else. He had seen right through to the rotting core of me, and for the first time, I was not ashamed, because I was accepted.

-- DUSTY V.

Alpena, Michigan

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