From the May 2009 magazine.

Six-Pack Lucky

After several relapses, a former sailor gets honest and asks for help

Six Pack Lucky; that's what the members in my district call me. Not because I drank beers by the half-dozen, but because I've celebrated six six-year periods of sobriety. That's right. After being sober for six years, I would become very complacent. I would stop going to meetings, talking to my sponsor (Hank has been my sponsor for 36 years), sharing with my sponsees, and reading my AA books and literature. I stopped my daily contact with my Higher Power, and, sure enough, something would tick me off and I would pick up. Usually not for long, as it's so true: AA spoils our drinking! After a day or two, I'd come back to my home group with my tail between my legs.

I was born an alcoholic. On my 16th birthday in 1956, I was sailing on a Great Lakes freighter, and for my birthday, the captain and the chief engineer took me uptown in Chicago. They had suggested I enjoy all the sights, and then meet them in a "speakeasy" for supper, their treat. Being enthralled by this huge city, with its sky-scrapers and immense department stores, I walked for hours. I decided to take in a movie before meeting the crew for supper. Ten minutes into the movie, (a black and white movie about Alcoholics Anonymous, starting Bill W. & Bob S.), I remember thinking, Why am I watching a stupid movie about alcoholics? So, I got up and left the theater. When I walked into the speakeasy, the captain said, "Hey, Lucky, what do you want to drink?"

-- LUCKY R.

Parksville, British Columbia

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