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(#1608) Dave C (Raliegh, NC)
5/2/1999 in Marietta, GA  EVENT: 9th Marietta Roundup  TYPE: AA, Male, Story

Sober 41 years since 9/12/1957 in Roanoke, VA, Dave was recently married after his first wife in AA passed.

"The basic benefit that this alcoholic received is my sanity. And as a sane alcoholic I find I don't have to run anymore; I don't have to steal anymore and, you know, I don't have to sober up anymore."

"Now I didn't take my first drink until I was 16 years of age because I saw what liquor could do to a grown man; I saw what it did to my father."

It led to a divorce when Dave was 12. His mother fed, clothed and sent him off to school.

He took engineering but got into coaching basketball after graduation. He moved up in his profession but his drinking started getting noticed. So he got married. It lasted only a year and a half. He got fired.

His mother loved him to death. He went to some of the best tapering off joints on the east coast. He kept getting and losing jobs until he was at rock-bottom places.

"I got to the point where I would take one drink and I could not guarantee my behavior."

He went to real treatment at Dick's Hill in North Carolina for the first time in 1956 at age 27. He kicked naked in a padded cell for days.

He began to think he might be an alcoholic like his father. He had to leave that place and go back home to mama. A well-meaning doctor gave him tablets to take that kept him "real-loose". Then he decided to take a drink and went back to Dick's Hill five times in six months.

But nobody told him about Alcoholics Anonymous. He drank on top of Antabuse and wound up in the nut ward.

He was put back in the alcoholic ward and escaped with two other inmates. He went back to mama. He was given a wad of money to go to the west coast because he was killing her. He made it two towns over.

He was put on a chain gang and finally had a chance to seriously hear about AA though he had heard of it once before. He went back to mama again. He tried not to drink for mama for four months. He interviewed for teaching jobs and found one in Roanoke, VA. He still did not think he had a problem with alcohol. He drank on the way to the job, worked for five days and mama kicked him out of her life.

Living on the streets, in a back alley, he came to realize that he was killing himself. He prayed to God for help. The man who hired him, found him that day and through another friend got him into the Easy Does It Club in Roanoke.

He has not had a drink since.

Original Tape Cover

(55 min) (19 MB) (id#1608)