From the July 1970 magazine.

Inside and Outside

Wherever you are, it's what's inside the man that matters most

I AM AN inmate of a state prison and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. We refer to our members here as "inside" and to all AAs who are not in institutions as "outside" members. In my mind, those terms have another meaning: the "inside" and "outside" of me. The outside is the obvious, that which others see and hear; the inside is that which only I know--my thoughts, feelings, fears, frustrations, and anxieties, as well as my hopes, faith, desires, and ambitions. This, I am sure, is true of all of us.

I am thirty-five years old, and this is my second experience with AA inside a penal institution. I will not attempt to include here all the misery and the unrewarding escapades I have had throughout my drinking career. I will say, however, that it began when I was very young, about nine. By the time I was fifteen, I was well on my way toward being a qualified alcoholic! Of course, I didn't know it then, nor did I find it out until several years later.

-- R. P.

Carson City, Nevada

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