From the December 2013 magazine.

December 2013: You won’t find rainbows in the bottom of a glass

While Sinatra’s lonely saloon song plays, an old-timer wonders how he picked up after 39 years

It’s been more than a year since I took the bus out of Pennsylvania back up to my home in New York. I remember that ride very well. It was my first look at the real world after going to a 30-day treatment program. I was beginning my second round of sobriety. It all seemed so amazing, for my first round lasted an uninterrupted 39 years.

In 39 years of going to meetings I got married, raised a child, built a career, and became quite good at what I did for a living. Thirty-nine years of coexisting in a world of beer and cocktails all around me with no compulsion to dive back in, first, because AA meetings taught me how to avoid that, and second, because my life was relatively good and I didn’t want to screw it up.

-- John B.

Rochester, New York

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