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Grapevine : September 2011
have so many young brothers, like me, walked into our groups and stayed for a short time, return- ing to the alcohol and drugs only to join gangs, go to prison or die? So few dark faces amid the many white ... could it be because of race that they don't stay sober? I was welcomed with open arms into this AA family and my sponsor is an African-American man with strong sobriety and a deep love for the people in this group. No, I believe it's all about the power of this dis- ease and the subtle ways it sneaks into our thinking and captures our soul. Just a few weeks ago, I became angry and resentful at an old-timer who asked me to stop laughing and playing around while she was shar- ing. How dare she say this to me! I was only having a little fun. I was also irritated when another old biddy told her new sponsee that she shouldn't go out with me for coffee after the meeting. How dare she in- sult me! Only last week, I helped her move furniture. Besides, I don't un- derstand this deal about not getting involved in relationships during the first year of sobriety. My sponsor gets on my nerves when he insists that I walk up front and take a red chip, offered at three months of so- briety, when I don't think I should do this. My life is already much better now that I've gotten a job and car back. I just don't like people telling me what I should do. Perhaps I need to check this stinking thinking and the implications of Step One with my sponsor. On this morning, though, I want to work for a new life and a psychic change that leaves the old Vernon and his destructive thoughts behind. Now, I'm getting on my knees, right here on my mother's back porch, and asking God for the willingness to take Step One. Vernon J. Frankfort, Ky. It took only a few months to lose everything, including my beautiful wife, who is still out there, somewhere on the streets. Our disease took us to the gates of hell and I experienced the presence of evil. Somehow, once again, God delivered me to my mother's house in Kentucky. aagrapevine.org 47