From the July 1993 magazine.

Fifty Sober Years

I went to my first meeting on Sunday, January 24, 1943, a few weeks before my thirty-seventh birthday. I had been drinking more and more since high school. When I was in my early thirties I tried to stop again and again, until I realized I was in serious trouble. I redoubled my efforts to quit because I now knew what was happening to me. I knew if I kept on I would lose everything--my job, my wife and family of four wonderful small children, my house, and eventually, my life.

I wanted to quit drinking more than anything in the world and was willing to do anything to quit if I only knew what to do. When, in the fall of 1942, a full page advertisement appeared in the New York Herald Tribune telling about Alcoholics Anonymous, I sent for the Big Book and started reading it. What I read made sense to me. At about the same time, my wife told me that a drinking buddy of mine called Billy had quit drinking. I couldn't believe it, but it sounded hopeful so I called Billy and went to see him the same day.

-- Richard S.

Kerrville, Texas

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