From the June 2009 magazine.

You've got to give to get

A loner on the fringes of AA finds the courage to seek out a sponsor

I DON'T know what I expected, coming into Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time. I can vividly remember pondering the Steps on the wall during my first meeting. I certainly did not expect to find God or even the more acceptable "Higher Power" there either, but there he (or she) was. The good news was that I had some belief in God before I got to AA, so it did not scare me that much.

Step One seemed okay to me. I had known for a long time that I was an alcoholic; I just did not realize there was a specific label for it. All I knew was that I did not know how to stop drinking. I used to argue out loud with myself as I got wasted on my way in to work. "I've got to stop this," I would say. Only to shout back, "You known you can't stop, so why even bother worrying about it?"

-- JOHN L.

Seabrook, Texas

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!