From the September 1995 magazine.

An End to the Alibis

Compared to other stories I've heard, my drinking history seems quite ordinary, which can't be said of my recovery. In order to continue drinking, I had to learn the unique skills necessary to a practicing alcoholic--skills such as being a phony, a cunning liar, and a clever thief. I learned well. Spending about a year of my life in treatment programs, totaling a few cars, being divorced, fired, sued, jailed, and made to suffer other indignities struck me as just an extended run of bad luck.

For so long as I managed to land on my feet it was easy to ignore the critics of my shenanigans. But beginning in 1959, a progression to heavy binge drinking saw me pressured into repeated and fruitless encounters with AA. After years of recurrent failures, most folks would opine that to enter treatment and then rejoin Alcoholics Anonymous solely in the hope of avoiding another divorce was like buying a lottery ticket to cover unpaid bills. But that is exactly why I came back one more time in 1978. Through the grace of God there was no divorce and I have lived sober since. What was different this time?

-- Jack F.

Aurora, Illinois

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