From the August 2007 magazine.

Club Grace

From loneliness to living

There have been manymoments of grace in the thirty-four years of my sobriety. Some were outstanding in their protection, guidance, and love. But none is more vivid than the first time I consciously experienced the miracle of AA within my own heart.

On New Year's Eve in 1973, I woke up in the alcoholic ward of a hospital in Washington, D.C. An angel from the AA desk had sent two people to my apartment in response to my drunken call of despair the day before. I was so far gone that I barely remember their Twelfth Step call that first day, but I do remember them coming to fetch me the next morning to go to the hospital. They had gone to the trouble of arranging a bed for me. Before I went down to their car, the last thing I did was to chug-a-lug a bottle of brandy. By the time I got to the hospital, I was as drunk as usual and so toxic from alcohol poisoning that the doctors decided to knock me out to keep me from convulsing. At least, that's how I remember it. I came to in the middle of the night. I was thirty years old, at a dead end, and I had no hope at all. I just wanted to make a fast end to it all.

-- Jackie B.

Alexandria, Virginia

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