From the October 2004 magazine.

How Long Is Forever?

It's a lot shorter than you think

The problem I had, when Judge Lee sent me to AA in 1975 as an alternative to jail time, was that I was not an alcoholic. I proved it by staying sober for most of the ninety-day sentence, during which time I took my little card to be signed at AA meetings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I presented my signed card to Judge Lee's clerk and took my supervised dose of Antabuse. A couple of tries at drinking while on Antabuse had convinced me to stay off the booze.

I knew that if I really wanted to quit, I could stop in a heartbeat. But I didn't want to quit drinking. I loved the smell of whisky, the way it burned going down, the way I felt when I was getting drunk. I wasn't fond of some of the results: waking up in strange places with strange ladies, coming out of a blackout and not knowing where I was, or seeing bars on the door and not remembering how I got to jail.

-- Robert B.

Harlan, Iowa

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