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Grapevine : October 2011
Last week I was at a res- taurant and a man came up to the table who had body odor---strong body odor. He asked if we could give him some change. WhenIwasinmy cups, I worked in a factory that built automobiles. My drinking got me in trouble. I had been given a day o , two days, three days, a week, two weeks, and finally, 30 days. We had a strong union that had kept me from being fired, but there were limits, and I had reached mine. Had I gotten in trouble one more time I would have been let go. By the grace of GodIwasledtothe program and got sober. So instead of getting fired and be- coming like that man begging for change, I retired from that factory and am now drawing a pension. Financially speaking, that has been quite rewarding. One evening (at that old job), a er I He was spared a lot of change and more, but instead she was asking me to seek help and inviting me to an AA meeting. What a deal! So of course, I agreed and that night went to my first AA meet- ing. When I sat down, an older man named Lou asked, "So what brings you here?" I started to say, "Well, a lot of little things that culminated into ... " He stopped me in mid--sentence, "This program is based on honesty. If you can't be honest with yourself, then this program won't work for you." How right he was! I honestly wanted to get the "problem" fixed, so I could go back to the way things were. I didn't think I was an alcoholic, but I listened to Lou share his story along with several others that night. I picked up a 24-hour chip and didn't drink for the rest of the week, until Friday night when back to the bottle I went. I thought that, if going to a few meetings a week would save me from getting kicked out of the Army, then it was a small price to pay. So, I kept my agreement and I went to the sub- stance abuse program. I also told my wife that I had to work late on the nights I went meetings with my supervisor. For about two months I showed up regularly to the meetings, but I continued to drink. The only thing that changed was that I tried to hide my drinking even more. I went 46 October 2011