From the March 2009 magazine.

At my age

Sober twenty-seven years, an AA hits some bumps in the road

A little over a year ago, I was fired from my last job as a drug and alcohol counselor at a well-established treatment center. I was devastated: anger, frustration and denial were in full force as I was ushered out the door. I had been fired from the previous two positions I had held, and this was the charm! I felt worthless, bewildered and belittled. I felt that something was terribly wrong, but I couldn't persuade anyone to listen to me. At my AA group, all I got was a well-meant suggestion to take the Third Step. After 27 years of sobriety, I deserved better treatment than this, I thought.

I progressed in some sort of sickness that neither my wife nor I could pin down. I thought I was just depressed, and I had always found that one more meeting pretty well takes care of my depression. But not this time. I sank deeper and deeper and, finally, began to think suicidally, screaming to myself, "They'II all be sorry when I'm gone." As a last resort, I went to the hospital for evaluation.

-- JIM L.

Newton, Kansas

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