From the November 2013 magazine. First printed in June 1998.

November 2013: The Woman in the Mirror

Broke, pregnant and newly single, a young mother leans on AA and makes it through a tough first year

My first glimpse of AA started at age 21 when the drinking buddy I’d so naively married ended up in treatment. We both attended a meeting that combined AA and Al-Anon. I couldn’t admit I was alcoholic but an alcoholic woman at this meeting left a big impression on me. She had such confidence and beamed and smiled at everyone. My soul ached for what she had, but I couldn’t admit our common problem: alcohol.

At age 22 I stumbled into an AA clubhouse after a nine-day binge. This period of sobriety didn’t last long because I also discovered, after being transported to the state hospital, that I was manic-depressive, and being alcoholic and having this mental illness was too much to digest. So I gave up AA. After my final drunk, which had failed to produce a happy evening because I couldn’t get enough alcohol, I once again entertained the idea of AA.

-- Michelle V.

Mandan, North Dakota

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