From the October 1965 magazine.

A Different Kind of Inventory

Sober--but plagued by fear and depression: "How am I going to continue not drinking?

AFTER a year of sobriety in AA, I found myself with an increasing tendency to blame all my troubles, real and imaginary, on my drinking years. Actually, my troubles were few, and none of them could be traced to the days of wine and roses. I had no lingering debts, no leftover family resentments, no suspended driver's license or suspicious boss.

But I did have, after a year of sober, relatively sane living, attacks of the same faceless fears and nameless despairs that had plagued me through the latter, bitter years of booze. My periods of depression were not as long as they had once been, but they were just as deep and desperate. My fears and anxieties had no basis in reality and were therefore difficult to fight realistically. For example, I often panicked at the thought of picking up a cup of coffee when someone was watching. I remembered the days when my hand shook so hard I couldn't get the cup up to my mouth and, remembering, my hands would begin to tremble again. Sometimes I would refuse a cup of coffee I really wanted, rather than take a chance on humiliation.

-- J. J.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

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