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Grapevine : July 2011
A LIFER'S STORY I' VE been 20 years in this prison, for a horrible crime I committed while in an alcoholic blackout. Even so, I still maintained an attitude that, since I had a life sentence, I would stay as drunk as possible as much as possible. I did not want to deal with the feel- ings around the fact that I would never be released from prison. Dur- ing my crime, I'd also been stabbed in the spine, which left me with some paralysis in my right leg and forced me to walk with a leg brace ... a per- fect reason to dive very deep into self-pity. After I was caught with two gal- lons of homemade wine, my prison case worker recommended I start go- ing to AA meetings. I attended meet- ings for about three years before I got a sponsor. During that time, just like the Big Book says, I experienced loneliness such as few do. I was an- gry at myself for choosing alcohol over a loving wife and two beauti- ful children. My ex-wife had warned me that if I ever went to prison, she would never visit me. Well, it's been 20 years and she has certainly kept her promise. I found myself at the jumping- off place, wishing for the end. My caseworker told me that an outside AA member was willing to do some Step work with me, if I wanted. To my surprise, this gentle- man came to me in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. I was drawn to him, at first simply because he never complained. He was always happy, every time I saw him. I will always be grateful that he took the time to help me work the Steps. Because of this, I was able to reconnect with my parents, and learn how to stop blaming myself, and oth- ers, by taking responsibility for my The only way to endure his prison sentence was to drink as much as possible 22 July 2011