From the August 2007 magazine.

The Open Gate

A threshold to peace

Catastrophe had beenyears in the making, a slide into a profound dependency on drink, so cunning and subtle that I hadn't noticed. Outwardly, I appeared to function--perhaps I simply refused to acknowledge my long, slow descent. But when booze stopped working, all at once, I imploded and collapsed. The world crashed. Adrift on an ocean of calamity, clinging to a life buoy they called "treatment center," my mind was numb and thick with fog.

There were many facets to my prescribed treatment plan, including transport in the hospital bus to and from my very first AA meeting. Thursday...

-- Don G.

Temple, Texas