From the August 2010 magazine.

Dear Grapevine

Back-up plan scrapped

I AM 20 years old and have been battling alcoholism since I was 12. I couldn't stay sober for more than six hours. I was dying and alone, and couldn't imagine life getting better, but I decided to try treatment one last time, with suicide as my back-up plan.

Rehab introduced me to the longest period of sobriety I'd known, and to AA. In one of the meetings I found a flyer from the International Conference of Young People in Alcoholics Anonymous (ICYPAA). The Tuesday following my release from rehab I went to a meeting organizing a bus trip to Atlanta, Ga., for ICYPAA. I had no money but someone decided to drag me along. We left the next day.


Mukwonago, Wis.

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