by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : October 2011
I recently turned 51, and, by the grace of God, I have lived the last 26 of those years as a sober mem- ber of Alcoholics Anonymous. Like al- most everyone else, I struggled in the beginning with the transition from alcoholic thinking into the AA way of life. Many times in that first year, I was told to stay the course, that the first year in sobriety is often the hardest. Well, that first year in sobriety had nothing on year number 25. I buried my beloved sponsor of more than 10 years, saw my high-salary po- sition and a 20-year career fall victim to the great recession, withdrew my family from a church congregation where I no longer felt safe, and shared the pain when my 8-year-old son's best friend was forced to flee with his mother to Florida in order to escape her alcoholic husband. That young lad had spent many nights and meals un- der our roof, and we had come to regard him as family. He departed the night before I was to celebrate my 25th an- niversary, an event The big, beautiful birthday present After a rough 25th year, pain gave way to gratitude at which I became very melancholy and cried during my share. Thank God for sobriety. Oth- erwise I would have been forced to muddle through these experiences by escaping with the bottle or drugs, learning nothing and emerging bit- ter, weakened and set up for further disaster. Instead, I clung to the AA program. My period of unemploy- ment allowed me to attend additional meetings. A new sponsor entered my life, an experienced man who under- stood my situation and was able to offer direction and guidance that has been effective. Eventually, I landed another job, and we found a new church home. My son has made more friends. Happily ever after, right? Wrong! As it was in early sobriety, I found myself in a strange new land. Trouble manifested itself most prominently on the new job. It wasn't where I wanted to be, and the salary was about half of what I was making before I was downsized. Un- happy with the situation, I had been OLD-TIMERS