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Grapevine : July 2011
di erent from life in the real world, with compet- ing factions, dangerous personalities, and an abun- dance of rules. However, I have found that the princi- ples for living as set forth in AA work in every environ- ment. My sponsor is fond of saying, "Bloom where you're planted!" I derive a great deal of joy from help- ing others who come to our meeting. Passing it on is essential for my sobriety. ey arrive with suspicion and skepticism, but if they keep coming back, I o en see a light in their eyes. Some people question if sobriety counts if it is prison time. I have been committed to staying sober for over eight years. My Higher Power, the AA pro- gram, and the Fellowship are the essential keys to keeping me from repeating my past bad acts. For me, my sober time counts a great deal! If you are reading this as someone who is incarcer- ated, I urge you to promise yourself that recovery starts now. I encourage you to get and read the AA Big Book. Get an outside sponsor who is willing to work with you. Hopefully, you'll find a sponsor in the area you'll be released to a er your sentence is completed. When the day comes and the doors swing open, my first order of business will be to go right to the nearest AA meeting. When they say "Keep Coming Back," they don't mean prison! Sean F. Akron, Ohio if that lack of commitment existed out there in the free world. When they were released, would the program leave them standing in the rain? I can't feel animosity toward our situation. For I used to be outside, too busy, taking my sobriety and my free- dom for granted. Dr. Bob's often quot- ed summary of how to work the AA program is, "Trust God, clean house and help others." I spend my days sitting in my prison bunk, recalling the past. What if I had worked my program back in 1987, or even 1991? If I had shown up for service work, I might have run into someone much like myself, sitting in a prison AA group and listened to him telling me my future. Would that have changed my later relapse, the events that followed, and this life sentence? I'll never know. The only thing I do know is that all of those things that used to be so "important" and kept me so "busy" back then, are gone, ab- solutely irrelevant. I now have all the time in the world. I thank God that I have a sub- scription to Grapevine, as this is my only means of attending a meeting. I came here when I was 27. I'm now 42, facing another 15 years before I can even see the parole circus. I'll most likely die in this prison, all because I used to be so very busy in those truly important days long past. Rusty R. Abilene, Texas aagrapevine.org 21