From the August 1992 magazine.

Just a Drunk

My alcoholic drinking career lasted nearly 35 years. Drinking led to my becoming a liar and thief, constantly living in fear of being found out. Uncontrollable fits of boozing saw me fired, jailed, dishonored, suffering intolerably, going into hospitals, treatment programs, and AA. With a few variations, I repeated that performance over and over for about nineteen years. Over a year of my life was wasted in treatment because no one could see that my real problems were a nagging wife, nasty bosses, and people who were out to get me. My way of asking for help was, "Here I am, turkeys, fix me! If you had my problems, you'd drink too."

I sincerely hope that my final treatment program and AA renewal was in 1978. This time around I was lucky to find a sponsor who was strong on the AA program outlined in the Big Book. That program has a noteworthy track record, so he saw no need to put together a custom-made special-purpose program as I had tried to do so often in the past. His idea of carrying the message was like one beggar showing another where he finds the bread, not becoming their baker. Problems have been constant companions, but I have had a sober and reasonably contented life since I've tried to practice the AA program to the best of my ability (emphasize tried).

-- Jack F.

Aurora, Illinois

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