Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published March 2011.

Web Exclusive: Bartender, Hand Me the Phone!

Multiple jail visits weren’t enough. A call from a bar was his moment of hope.

Poor me. Poor me. Pour me another?

By the grace of God and help from other AAs, I have not had a drink since Jan. 14, 1962. In my formerly shaky and nicotine stained fingers, I'm holding the little billfold size card which they gave me 43 years ago and on one side it says, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Folded inside the little card are the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of AA.

When a person has consumed alcohol to the point that he finds himself at the door of AA there are not many everyday problems that he can cope with; his everyday affairs may be strewn out in at the most three to four-hour stretches. One of the first things an AA newcomer is told is that he can only abstain from alcohol "One Day at a Time" and he may even have to break that down to one hour or even a few minutes which was truly the case with me.

-- Ellis B.

Rusk, Texas

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