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Grapevine : August 2011
wasn't possible. I continued receiv- ing phone calls, which helped spur me on. Since I was on our local AA hotline list, I even got a call from a newcomer looking for our meeting place! That was such a godsend. I was able to direct her to some people and locate our clubhouse. I was so homesick for my daugh- ter, my town and my home group. It was heartbreaking to go through the toughest trial of my life without the support of the people and places I loved. I really needed a meeting and it had been almost a month that I was a stranger in a strange land. Then God brought me an intuitive thought: I could have a meeting with my home group if I used technology. I called one of my AA brothers and asked him to make a request at the group to have an AA meeting on speaker phone, so I could listen to all of them share their experience, strength, and hope with me. The group agreed and that Sunday at 10 a.m., I was having a meeting with my home group! It was so uplifting to hear the voices and then be able to share as if I were sitting in the meet- Icame into the rooms in October of 2008 and bounced around AA un- til February 23, 2009. ose first months were an endless stream of relapses, followed by over- whelming feelings of guilt and shame. I couldn't look anyone in the eyes. I was too young, too unique, and too damaged to succeed in sobriety. Despite that, I kept coming back and making co ee for my home group every Saturday. Why? e answer lies with my Higher Power and the relationships I formed in the rooms. e first two months a er my sobriety date were a constant strug- gle. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous came along- side of me. I remember clearly the day I handed over my car keys because I wanted so badly to drive to the liquor store. I was on my way there when an AA friend called to tell me he was at our meeting early if I wanted to meet him there. I passed my turn for the liquor store and went straight to the church. We wandered around a toy store for a while, hit the meeting, and then went to his house for what he called "dog therapy." When my desire to drink finally subsided, he returned my keys and I went home. In the early days, I didn't venture outside my home group, and I still thank my Higher Power that I was placed in the center of a group that truly cared for me. When I reached my bottom, driving into a con- crete wall and totaling my car, my AA friends showed up at the hospital and showed me that AA o ered FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS 18 August 2011