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Author unknown, "Too Young?"
(p. 317 in 3rd edition.)
Stopped in Time
doctors, girl friends - everybody seemed
to be picking on him. But he couldn't
be an alcoholic at his age, could he?"
was only twenty-four years old when he wrote
his story for the 3rd edition. He started
drinking about age thirteen.
do well in school so quit at seventeen and
joined the Army. He was in trouble from
the beginning. While still in basic training
he got drunk almost every night. He couldn't
take orders from the head cook when on K.P.
and threw a garbage can at him. He was reported
to the company commander. After basic training
he didn't drink for three months because
he was in school at night. He thought this
meant he had no drinking problem.
He was sent
to Viet Nam where he stayed drunk or sick
from a hangover for a year. When he came
back from Nam he met a girl he liked, but
she would not put up with his drinking and
told him to leave.
was sent to Arizona where his drinking increased
even more and he started having blackouts
and was thrown in jail for speeding and
drunk driving. Then he re-enlisted and was
sent back to Viet Nam. There he tried suicide
twice and wanted to kill his sergeant, so
they sent him to a psychiatrist.
returned to the States he met a wonderful
girl and got engaged. But she soon dropped
him, and he still couldn't believe it was
needing a drink in the morning, and missing
work because he was still too drunk to stand
up. He became very paranoid and thought
everyone was against him. It was the same
when they sent him to Germany.
hallucinating, and was finally hospitalized,
but drank again as soon as he was released.
He finally realized he couldn't quit. He
talked to the first sergeant and the battalion
commander and they put him in contact with
an A.A. member.
He had trouble
trusting the A.A. members and admitting
he was an alcoholic, but eventually did.
But he still couldn't stop drinking so was
hospitalized again, this time in a rehabilitation
center. When he got out he continued to
go to A.A. and finally realized that the
people in the groups only wanted to help
him get sober and to stay sober themselves.
Steps showed him the way to sobriety, if
he wanted it. And he wanted it. A.A. gave
him a new way of life. He did have a slip,
but was told not to worry about yesterday,
because nobody can change it, and not to
worry about tomorrow, because it hasn't
come yet. Live twenty-four hours at a time.
And it works. He said "I'm a twenty-four
year-old alcoholic - and I'm happy."