Filling That Big Hole Inside

From TheFix: Find me a woman who hasn’t been 13th stepped—successfully or unsuccessfully—and I’ll show you a post-menopausal nun or a tragic case of facial acne. Old-timers have been seducing newcomers ever since Bill Wilson started the tradition in the 1940s. Since that time, Step 13 has been judged, disparaged, reviled…and perfected. “Let’s go to coffee. We can talk program.” “There’s a great meeting 50 miles from here. I’ll drive.” “Have I showed you my First Edition Big Book? Oh, wait, I left it in the bedroom…”

When I was new, 20-something years ago, a man with 17 years of sobriety (and a wife) wanted to read his latest fifth step to me because his sponsor “didn’t get him.” I was so flattered. Me, with my under 90 days, had something to offer an old-timer! It turns out I had something the old-timer wanted, all right; it just wasn’t my wisdom. His number one resentment, he explained, was toward his frigid, alcoholic wife. He was so sad, so lonely…and I was so naïve. Let’s face it; newcomers are easy. Getting sober leaves a honking great empty hole in us, and Mr. 17 Years was more than happy to (ahem) fill it.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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