From the August 2010 magazine.

Downhill spiral

A drifter with a long rap sheet reaches out to AA

My sobriety date is May 9, 2003--not, however, my first time in AA. I was introduced to the program in 1982 in Cincinnati, Ohio, when my older brother took me to my first meeting. I was 23 years old. My next meeting would not be until 1985 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

In that meeting in Ohio I had no idea what those people were talking about, but I sat with my brother because he said he needed to be there. He said that it was either the meetings or the shock treatments at the hospital and he preferred the meetings.

-- JOHN C.

Palm Bay, Fla.

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