From the January 1995 magazine.


On July 1, 1955, thousands of AAs at the International Convention in St. Louis were celebrating the Twentieth Anniversary of the founding of our Fellowship. On that same date, I was being admitted to Philadelphia General Hospital. Part of my admission note read: "The patient had a drink this morning. His present episode began about three weeks ago, when he consumed large quantities of wine, whiskey and beer. He feels that his drinking had gotten to be a problem since about a year ago and admits to blackouts, and yesterday for the first time had a visual hallucination--he saw a peanut jumping around in a glass container. This seemed to worry him. [Actually, I saw lots of peanuts that day, but would only admit to one.] In 1951 he was discharged from the Air Force after thirty-five months of service, after having been drunk and stolen a car during a spree. His present drinking bouts have been exemplified by belligerence, numerous fights, and arguments with drinking associates which have frequently landed him in the clink. He is entirely unfamiliar with the dictates of alcoholism; he therefore is not aware that he is an alcoholic."

That doctor's note, especially the last line, captured the essence of my alcoholism. I was twenty-three years old.

-- Harry H.

Oceanside, California

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