January 2013

January 2013: Still a Great Ride

An old-timer returns to his beloved young peoples’ group, where, long ago, he learned to survive the ups and downs of early sobriety

I joined AA in November 1973, when I was 21 years old. I was sick, sad, sorry and suicidal yet again. In AA I learned that pills, pot and alcoholic cough syrup were considered slips, so my actual sobriety dates from January 1974. Shortly after that, a young woman who was sober six months at the time—and living in a nearby garage—showed up at my apartment and insisted I attend a young peoples’ meeting with her. It was in a church hall in a nearby beach community. Off I went, and even though I was sick, depressed and anti-social, other young people there welcomed me and exchanged phone numbers with me. It was in that hall that I heard the words that inspired me to take some actions for my recovery, and it was in that hall that I found the sponsor who took me through the Steps. I took my Third Step there with him. Frequently, after the meeting, we would all go to a nearby amusement park and ride the roller coaster—an apt metaphor for the ups and downs of my early sobriety.


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