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Grapevine : July 2011
MY ca- reer as an al- coholic has tak- enmeinandout of jails, institutions and rehabilitation centers. Since the age of 13, I have been gathering knowledge and collecting data on the subject, hoping deep down that this life as an alcoholic and drug addict will eventu- ally lead to a clean and sober life. Ultimately, though, it's been one long journey of decep- tion. All throughout my life, people have told me that alcohol and drugs were bad. I remember a local hospital before they died, due to prison policy. I knew my mother wouldn't make it much longer. I asked God to help me find a way to see my mom again. All I want- ed was to say good-bye and to tell her I loved her. On January 12, 2011, my brother-in-law called the prison and said that my mother wouldn't make it much longer. I asked per- mission to be taken to see her and, by the grace of my Higher Power, the prison agreed. I hadn't seen her in almost four years. After a stroke in 2009, she wasn't able to walk or speak. She was asleep when I entered her room, but when I held her hand and said, "Momma, I finally got to come and see you," she smiled and squeezed my hand. I was finally able to say the things that I had always wanted to tell her. I broke down a few times, but not once did I think about a drink. She passed away, peacefully, in her sleep five days after I saw her. The Twelve Steps made it possible for me to see my mother one last time. I want to thank all the AA members who come into pris- on and share their experience, strength and hope with all of us on the inside. You have helped this alcoholic lifer become happy, joyous and free. Barry M. Mt. Pleasant, N.C. VANDAL, 24 July 2011