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Grapevine : August 2011
a drunken mess and eventually our Bonnie and Clyde run ended with ... yup, you guessed it. She got arrested and returned to jail, where she re- mained for the next three months. I attended my fourth treatment center and that's where something happened. When I heard, "We beg you to be fearless and thorough from the very start," I thought, okay, maybe I can't be fearless, but I can be thorough. I have found over the years that the more thorough I am, the more fear is removed. In treat- ment, I was informed that the po- lice would be there to pick me up, as I was still a fugitive for violat- ing probation. So, my first lesson in acceptance was accepting the fact that my sober journey was go- ing to start in jail. I was released from jail after a day, pending trial, and placed in a halfway house. Af- ter three months of sobriety, my girlfriend was released from jail, also placed in a halfway house. We decided to make this relationship work, but knew we would have to do things very differently. First off, we put God and AA before our re- lationship. This worked well for us. As we approached one year of sobri- ety, I asked her to marry me. We picked up our anniversary chips and were married, all in the same week. That same week, I received a phone call from my father, who was crying. "Son," he pleaded, "I need you to tell me how you stay sober." I was floored. This was the man I had hated as a child and he was asking me how he could change his life. My new wife and I made the trip from our home in South Caroli- na to Kentucky, where Dad was. He wasn't in very good shape. I had contacted some AA guys, thanks to some advice from my sponsor. It was a great lesson about just how big the hand of AA is. I don't know how much the trip helped my dad, but it certainly helped my wife and I. I was crying as we left and I said to my wife that it felt like there was something else, something more I should do. "All you can do is love him and be a good example of AA," she replied. Eventually, my dad went into treatment and started getting so- ber. I have had the good fortune of sharing my story at five of his six anniversaries, thus far. Upon returning home, my wife and I got busy starting a new life together. We bought a house, had two beautiful children and were the picture of a perfect, young AA cou- ple. We sponsored people, my wife opened a women's halfway house, I was speaking all over the Southeast. Life was getting out of hand and I don't think either of us really saw it coming, I know I certainly didn't. I was too busy being Mr. AA to real- 22 August 2011