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Author unknown, "The Housewife Who Drank at Home"
375 in 2nd edition, p. 335 in 3rd edition, p 295 in the
Stopped in Time
hid her bottles in clothes hampers and dresser
drawers. She realized what she was becoming.
In A.A., she discovered she had lost nothing
and had found everything."
is of an alcoholic woman who stayed at home
to care for her family. Her bar was her kitchen,
her living room, her bedroom, the back bathroom,
and the two hampers.
She had never
been a very heavy social drinker, but during
a period of particular stress and strain she
resorted to alcohol in her home, alone, as
a means of temporary release and a means of
getting a little extra sleep. She didn't think
a little wine would hurt her, but soon she
was a chronic wine drinker. She needed it
and couldn't live without it.
secretive about how much she drank. She pretended
to be doing a lot of entertaining when she
bought more wine, not wanting the clerk to
know it was for herself.
When the doctor
prescribed a little brandy for her son to
help him through the night when he coughed,
she switched from wine to brandy for three
weeks. Soon she was in D.T.'s and screaming
on the telephone for her mother and husband
to come help her.
would help if she got out of the house, she
became active in civic affairs. As long as
she worked she didn't drink, but had to get
back to that first drink somehow. While she
was out of the house her behavior was fine,
but her husband and children saw the other
side of her. She had turned into a Jekyll-and-Hyde
When the children
were in school from nine to three she started
a little business and was fairly successful
in it. But it was just a substitute for drink
and she still needed that drink.
switching to beer, which she had hated. Now
she grew to love it and would drink it warm
of this, her husband, whom she had turned
against and treated badly, stayed with her
and tried to help her.
doctor recommended A.A. At one time the admission
that she was an alcoholic meant shame, defeat,
and failure to her. Now she was able to interpret
that defeat, and that failure, and that shame,
as seeds of victory. It was only through feeling
defeat and feeling failure, the inability
to cope with her life and with alcohol, that
she was able to surrender and accept the fact
that she had the disease of alcoholism and
that she had to learn to live again without
In A.A. she
found that for the first time she could face
her problems honestly and squarely. She took
everything that A.A. had to give her. She
surrendered. To her surrender brought with
it the ability to run her home, to face her
responsibilities, to take life as it comes
day by day. She had surrendered once to the
bottle, and couldn't do those things.
She was brought
up to believe in God, but not until she found
A.A. did she know faith in the reality of
God, the reality of His power that is now
with her in everything she does.