From the October 2010 magazine.

Becoming an AA

Things would get worse before they got better

IN the spring of 1992, after nearly six years of sobriety in AA and four sponsors, I met a man who, in a very short period of time, convinced me he knew more about alcoholism and AA than anyone I'd ever met. In visiting with him, I got hope that my life would change. Much like the description in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, this man, Joe, was armed with facts about himself and had found the solution contained in that book. His whole deportment shouted at me that he knew. He knew what it was like to be me, he understood the frustration, pain and confusion I had been living with. He was the first human being I'd met who'd convinced me that he knew. He told me he believed I was dying from a part of alcoholism I never even knew existed. I asked if he could show me how he had changed. He said he'd love to, that his life depended on that opportunity.

And so we started. He explained to me from the start that a very important part of this process is that I try to help other drunks who are hopeless, drunks like me. He said the first thing I needed to do was find out if I had alcoholism. He was adamant about this, insisting that if I had alcoholism, there was a solution for my life in AA. If I wasn't alcoholic, AA was not the place for me.

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