From the December 1977 magazine.

A Different Kind of Christmas Feeling

Look inside yourself for something more than tinsel and bells and "Ho, ho, ho

I WALKED into a meeting the other night, and a young man who qualified made me think about these Christmas holidays of ours. I got sober after my first AA meeting, on New Year's Day in 1965. This holiday week has remained an emotional problem for me ever since.

I went into a psycho ward on New Year's Eve and woke up in a straitjacket on New Year's Day. I met a psychiatrist, who listened patiently while I read him my list of woes. I desperately wanted a hyphenated diagnosis that would enable me to drink justifiably ever after. I insisted I was crazy. He looked unimpressed. He said, "You may be, but that will never kill you. Your drinking will. Go to AA."

-- E. S.

Manhattan, New York

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