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Grapevine : July 2011
was also in recovery. When Texas had a budget crisis in 2003, our counselor was let go. After a brief lapse, we ob- tained other outside volunteers who came in once a week so that we could have a meeting. At first, it was only myself and two other lifers. Slowly, the meetings grew in size, color and age. By December of 2009, our volun- teer told us that he could no longer make it. He was nearly 75 years old, and we understood, but our meetings stopped completely. He assured us he'd asked others to come in his place. Nobody accepted. They were too busy. I wrote to the AA General Ser- vice Office and received a letter back telling me that they were putting the word out to local groups in my area, trying to help us find another volun- teer. We haven't had a single meeting since.Inmates continue to ask if I've heard anything about meetings. We're still waiting, I assured them, but we will have another meeting one day. Prison administration informed us that we couldn't meet without an out- side volunteer. Guys began to feel like they'd been let down. Some wondered In the end, the result was that at my son's fourth birthday party, the husband was dead. Iam a forty-one-year-old grateful recovering al- coholic. All eight years of my sobriety have come while serving time in federal prisons. My sentence for a nonviolent crime was severe because of my previous record. All of my o enses were the direct result of being under the influence of alcohol. is simple truth became completely obvi- ous when I was exposed to AA in Akron, Ohio. But I relapsed and committed the crime for which I am now paying the price. e first several years of my sentence were served in a facility that did not allow AA inside the walls. anks to God and my AA contacts from Akron, I have stayed sober and avoided temptations. My sponsors back in Ohio kept writing, helping me work the Steps. ey treated me just like an- other member of AA, not like a convict. Recently, I was moved to another prison where one weekly AA meeting is available. Here I use my sponsors' straightforward suggestions and practical experiences to deepen my commitment to sobriety. Life on the inside is very BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED ADAPTED FROM JULY 2006 GRAPVINE MAGAZINE 20 July 2011