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A Retread By Any Other Name

No longer a “retread,” she finally returned to the program and found her life again

In 1981 when I first came to Alcoholics Anonymous, they were called “retreads.” They were the ones who left the program and came back with their heads hung low. I figured they probably hadn’t been rigorously honest with themselves in the first place. Or they hadn’t fully completed the first three Steps. Or the fourth. Spanked by the world and alcohol, they reluctantly dragged themselves back into AA. I was afraid of them—afraid of “catching” their delinquency and rebellion. That would never be me. I’d be clean and pure and value my sobriety like a religion. I wasn’t about to slap God in the face by taking matters into my own hands and drinking again. No sir-ee. 


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