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Grapevine : January 2012
to the meeting I was about to enter. I figured if the excitement and thrill of the party were gone, yet here I was still loaded to the gills, maybe I might possibly have a problem. I had been to AA meetings be- fore with my folks, but that was their way of getting around the restraining orders. so I never thought AA would have anything to offer me. I sat in the back of the hall-like room, close to the door. The walls were stark white, just as the lino- leum underfoot. The aroma of cof- fee and cigarettes wafted in my di- rection, making my stomach dance like a Mexican jumping bean. Fists clenched and drawn at my sides, I sat and listened. Then out of nowhere, I heard someone say what I needed to hear. I had never understood when people said stuff like, “I felt like I was home at last,” or “I finally felt like I belonged.” I had never felt like I be- longed, and I sure as hell never had a home I wanted to go to. Yet somehow in that instance, I did feel at home, just as they said I would. I stayed through the whole meet- ing and listened to others tell their ac- counts of life, and I heard—I actually focused and heard. They spoke of a better way of life. There wasn’t any- thing beyond the soot-covered win- dows of my dismal world, and with just the thought of living in the light, I was hooked. I wanted this way of life more than a junkie could possibly want his next fix. “This is a program of action” they said, and, “The steps are in order for a reason.” At the time I had no concept of what this meant, only that it must be important. Just do the footwork, and keep going, I told myself over and over. The first few months were rough and tumble, but I stuck it out. I worked the steps, but sometimes, the steps worked me. Nevertheless, my life slowly began to mend. Over these trying years I have come a long way, from the little brawler down the street to a somewhat respectable member of society. It has been years since I’ve had a drink. I was 13 the first time I came to AA, and that set the pace for the rest of my life. I am now 22 and have quite a few years un- der my belt, yet somehow I still know nothing, and isn’t it wonderful? It is a great feeling to not be bogged down with thoughts of the next bottle. surprising as it is, my parents have even began to see that there is something sublime in this freedom. They have not had much success, but only time can tell. God’s will, not mine, be done. April H. Medford, Ore. I stayed through the whole meeting and listened to others tell their accounts of life, and I heard—I actually focused and heard. 32 January 2012 GRAPE_30-32.indd 32 11/22/11 2:37 PM