From the October 2009 magazine.

A few 24s

When the voice says she no longer needs meetings, a long-timer holds onto her seat

It's been awhile--a few 24s--since that fateful night in November 1981 when I walked into my first AA meeting thinking, This is it--my life is over. Thank God, I can still remember that night as if it were yesterday--how terrified I was to walk into a room full of strangers. Funny how it never bothered me to do the same thing drunk. But somehow that night I knew the jig was up--that indeed this was my last stop. "I was on my way to my own funeral," as I would later hear in the rooms.

Walking into the Metropolitan Group on the Upper East Side of Manhattan could be intimidating. The...


Pomona, N.Y.