Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published September 2013.

A Place to Belong

From his very first meeting to international conventions, AA was always the right place

In mid-August 2005 I had been out of rehab a month and was none-too-serious about attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, which had been prescribed as aftercare by my rehab counselor. My primary purpose that evening was to attend a movie in Victorville, Calif. with my nonalcoholic wife. There just so happened to be a conveniently timed AA meeting in the next city of Hesperia. Having never been to AA and probably still too shaky to realize that a meeting entitled Groupo de Estrella would probably be a Spanish-speaking meeting, I went.

It turned out that night to be a speaker meeting. And, half of it was in Spanish. There was a secretary at the front of the small white room and a little old man leaning on a cane behind a slim, wooden podium. Sharon and I sat on the right side of the room (I took the aisle seat in case I needed to bolt) and two Spanish-speaking alcoholics sat on the left side of the room. At 7:00 p.m., the speaker said a few words in Spanish to the two men on our right then looked at me and repeated what he had said in English.

This is a preview. To view the full article, use the link below to begin a free 7-day trial!

Related Items:

A Six-Week Tour in AA
He went to help his daughter out and discovered that maybe he belonged there too

Looking Back
He wanted to understand when he became an alcoholic. It was pretty clear

Wanting to Live
No matter how low our bottoms may be, there is always hope

Steps Toward a Brighter Future
After a second stint in prison, he went back to AA