From the July 1995 magazine.

Ready to Enjoy Life

I'm sharing part of my story with the hope that someone can learn from it. Alcoholics are typically very stubborn and must learn from their own mistakes, but it is much easier to learn from someone else's. For almost three years, I've been serving a sentence for the Alabama Department of Corrections as a direct result of my alcohol-impaired bad judgment. It took a prison sentence before I could admit that my life had become unmanageable.

A few months before I was incarcerated, a judge sent me to a court referral program, after a conviction for driving while intoxicated. This program included mandatory attendance of AA meetings. Along with two of my best friends I reluctantly attended--with resentment and bitterness. I was greeted with handshakes, smiles, and coffee. The judge obviously thought I was an alcoholic, but the AA members didn't tell me that I was. Instead, they told me about themselves. They seemed to have something I wanted, but I had not reached my bottom yet.

-- Tim H.

Greensboro, Alabama

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