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April 1956

Today I Live for Tomorrow

A sober footnote to Mel's story (above) is this excerpt from a letter of farewell to the Rexburg group in Idaho, from a member whose slip while on parole cost him his freedom. Both Warren and his friends in AA hope that his letter may help someone else to appreciate the deadly power of "that first drink."

BY the time you read this I will probably be getting settled in my new home. . .the home I will have to stay in for at least a year.

I am not too frightened by the prospect because I have always been eager to go to new places and meet new people. Perhaps that is one factor that helped to take me down the road to alcoholism. Whenever I arrived in a new town I always headed for the nearest bar. In my way of thinking that was the best place to find friends.

I have roamed the land for many years and have never made any true friends--only the kind who forget you as soon as you are out of sight or money.

But now, in the short time I have been on the AA program I have met many, many friends who will be rooting for me all the way. How can I help but do right with so much encouragement?

The price of sobriety is very, very high. I believe I have paid my admission fee. I pray to God that He will help me stay a member of AA all the rest of my life.

To those of you on the program who are having a little trouble, I beg of you to stop and think before you take that first drink. Think of me and say to yourself, "But for the grace of God, there go I." We all know that in our blackest moments of alcoholism we have no control of our thoughts or deeds.

If you stop and think of me and it helps to keep you from taking that first drink, then my internment will not have been in vain.

I will not attempt to give words of wisdom to the older members on the program. All I can say is, "keep up the good work." If you had not been there to show me the way, I would not be able to look forward to the future with such a light heart, for I know that with your encouragement and God's help, I will be able to start a new life when I return to society.

I want to express to you my humble thanks for the gift of the Big Book. I will keep and cherish it always. May God bless you all.