When I got sober, I was a junior in high school. I didn't know how to stay sober among my old partying friends. I went to meetings and heard people say, 'Get rid of old playmates and play places.' I didn't know how I was going to do that. I couldn't change schools.
"My old friends realized I wasn't going to party anymore, and I became isolated and lonely. Occasionally, one of my classmates got sober, but it didn't last long. I listened to people talk about what they watched on TV, and I thought, What's wrong with them? Then I realized that I was the one who was different.
"I spent my nights at meetings and at the local coffee house afterward. AA and its love and guidance helped me get through my loneliness. As I approached graduation, I was fearful -- I thought about all the parties. My home group threw me the biggest party ever. When my name was called at graduation, the noise that my AA friends made was unbelievable. I thank God for the people in the Fellowship; they loved me when it felt like no one else did. By the time I left school, there were at least thirty people who cared about me and wanted to spend time with me. So far, by the grace of my Higher Power, I've never had to drink again."