Magazine

From the April 2017 magazine.

Basic training

Five weeks of outpatient were the building blocks to AA and a sober life

I was 54 when I was finally able to make myself call the phone number on a poster at my workplace and ask for help with my alcoholism. I had seen that poster every week for six months. It not only offered help for drinking problems but also included assistance with financial situations. My plan was to call the number on the poster and ask for help with my financial problems. After having the person answer two or three questions, I would then say, “Oh, by the way, I also think I drink too much.” I decided I’d do it in the morning.

When I woke up the next day, I looked over and saw the nearly empty fifth of rum from the night before. For years, I’d drunk myself to sleep. I remembered my plan to call the number and felt my usual scary thoughts of the terrible physical ailments my body surely must be developing from drinking so much. I was not having morning hangovers anymore. I feared that I had built up a tolerance for alcohol that would kill me. So with all the courage I could muster, I called the number.

-- Glenn P.

Florissant, Missouri, USA

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