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(#1048) Bob H-ESH (New York, NY)
10/18/1968 in Jekyll Island, GA  EVENT: 15th Georgia State Convention  TYPE: AA, Male, Story, Historical

AREA 16 ARCHIVES - "Walk with patience the road that is before you."

Sober 26 years since 1942. Manager of the General Service Office in New York since 1/1/1968, Bob was an AA member born in Maryland.

His first drink was a blackout on White Lightin' at age 14. He went to a military school in Virginia at age 16 where he drank and got drunk when he could.

By 18, in college he blacked out frequently and took a long time to graduate. He went on to medical school four years until he drank his way out of a medical career.

"I never had DTs. I never had an alcoholic convulsion and I never tried to commit suicide. Other than that, you name it and I did it or it was done to me." He was 10 months in a psychiatric hospital and a periodic drunken pharmaceutical salesman.

Over seven years, several psychiatrist told him he was alcoholic, that alcoholism was a disease and total abstinance was the only answer but they could not tell him how not to drink.

He tells a funny and illuminating story of getting arrested in Thomaston, GA.

He moved to New York and sought the answer in psychiatry where in 1940 he first heard about AA. In 1941, his mother sent him Jack Alexander's article which he glanced at then tore into pieces. He wanted to quit but strangely refused help.

Locked in a nut house, Bob wrote AA a letter saying he "might" have a problem. He was directed to the West 24th street clubhouse. From the very first moment of talking with the secretary there, Bob knew that a Power, greater than himself, could restore him to sanity. He calls it a miracle.

He has never lost that conviction that AA was the solution though he had one more drunk after a few weeks. After that he became willing to do whatever he was told.

Bob then describes his somewhat slow attempt at the steps.

He served in the Army during WWII, corresponding with New York via the mail. It was the 11th step that got him through. After the War he got active in AA. Separated from his wife at 10 years sober he reached an emotional period. Walking the streets late at night he had a vision of a quotation heard in a meeting years before,

"Walk with patience the road that is before you."

That was the turning point for him.

(48 min) (11.1 MB) (id#1048)