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(#1047) Mary P (Lexington, KY)
10/18/1968 in Jekyll Island, GA  EVENT: 15th Georgia State Convention  TYPE: AA, Female, Story, Historical


Great timeless, talk: Sober 17 years since 1951, Mary was born in Louisville, KY with a strong inferiority complex that she covered up with an appearance of poise.

She grew up in the jazz age with principles from the Victorian age.

She first tried drinking at 15 years old in a roadster during prohibition. She experienced that marvelous feeling and woke in a girlfriend's bed in her own vomit.

She did not drink again for several years until college. She blacked out frequently.

She married a graduate student - the black sheep of a good family. Her drinking was managable until she began to work.

"I was brought up on one idea - Not what are you but what will people think?" Santa Claus, the neighbors, even the Easter Bunny all watching her all the time. It did not stop her from drinking - she just worried all the time.

In 1945, after the war, she moved to Miami where she could drink in public. There she met a strange man who could be around drinkers and not drink because he was a member of AA. He asked her come hear him speak at a meeting. When asked she admitted she was a potential alcoholic.

She read the literature but had thrown out God along with Santa Claus. She did not join AA.

She was trying to take dictation with the shakes. Her doctors tried to manage it with various pills. That did not work for long.

Instead she joined the "Breakfast Club" at a bar - with the other early morning drinkers. That worked for a while along with the pills and booze at night.

She decided her problem was that she had to work. Solution: Marry a rich man. She found one that acted but wasn't rich and wound up in South Bend, IN. But she didn't have to work or do anything but drink. She even stopped eating.

Her loneliness was complete. She thought about the AA people three years back. She called AA to ask if there were any members that were drinking that would like to come join her. The man told her to call back when she was no longer having any fun drinking.

Two weeks later, her husband told her to be out before he got back from his business trip. She took a drink but could not get the effect.

She finally saw herself as she was and loathed what she saw. Suicide or AA were the alternatives that Sunday morning. She called AA and the same man answered. "Its no fun anymore," she told him.

He sent someone to come by and take her to a meeting and continued to do so for weeks.

Meetings became the only event of meaning in her life. She began seeking a Higher Power and gave herself up in a practical way.

She was sober for a time then drank for two and a half years before coming in to stay.

"It worked just like they said it would."

(47 min) (10.8 MB) (id#1047)