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February 1946

The Past Is Past

-- or Home Sweet Home!

The other night I made an A.A. call on a woman who had been dry eleven months last August and who has been nibbling and binging, wailing and regretting ever since. Her daughter called me hysterically and down I went with four other A.A.s who happened to be at my house and Bob, my son-in-law. It was a grim "home" we walked into. The woman was lying on her bed literally writhing--every fiber of her body crying out for a drink while her husband and daughter together and in chorus told her what a lousy, so-and-so drunken bum she was. The other four A.A.s went into the bedroom and soothed her jangled nerves with a few well-chosen words and a bottle of beer while Bob and I tried to explain the disease of alcoholism to pappa and child. We might as well have been trying to get in touch with Mussolini by means of a ouija board with Sanskrit characters. They weren't having any! "She was cured for eleven months, why did she deliberately have to 'uncure' herself?" they wailed. She was a no-good drunk and they had lost respect for her years ago and weren't going to try to get it back now, they went on. It was no good telling them anything. Their minds were closed, but, they told me plenty! Not by their abusive words but by what lay behind those words. The picture was clear and as I came home I wondered how, with no love or cooperation, fellowship or understanding, the gal had stayed sober for even one day.

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