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"A Five-Time Loser Wins"
B., Long Island, New York.
(p. 457 in 3rd edition.)
Lost Nearly All
"The worst of prison treatment
couldn't break this tough con. He was serving time on
his fifth felony conviction when a miracle happened."
Morris said that, like most
alcoholics, for him it was "Eat, drink and be merry, for
tomorrow you die." But he couldn't die. He kept painfully
awakening each time, mentally, physically, and spiritually,
There are worse things than
dying, he points out, "but is there any death worse than
the progressive, self-induced, slow suicide of the practicing
Morris described himself
as a five-time loser, and explained that this means that
he had five felony convictions (not including the cases
beaten). He served time in four penitentiaries and several
prison camps, including a maximum-security camp. He spent
eleven months in solitary confinement, bouncing in and out
of the "hole" (a bare concrete-and-steel cubicle) about
five times during those eleven months. The crimes that he
committed were the result of drinking and using drugs.
Even in prison he was always
fighting the system, even to the extent of using his body:
he cracked his leg with a sixteen-pound sledge hammer in
the rock hole; he let lye and water eat away at four of
his toes and his foot for five hours.
At the age of forty-four,
he finally hit bottom. And then the miracle happened. He
saw a wooden sign with the Serenity Prayer printed on it.
He had been to A.A. before, in and out of A.A. in Los Angeles,
Phoenix, and San Francisco. He remembered that at one of
his first A.A. meetings he had heard, "If you are an alcoholic
and if you continue to drink, the end is death or insanity."
He added, "They hadn't mentioned the living hell before
After seeing that sign,
he took the first three Steps for the first time. He surrendered
totally. Now he began to sleep, to relax, to accept his
plight. He started going to A.A. in prison at the group's
While still in prison, Morris
was given training and after he was paroled he went to work
as a counselor in Corrections, then worked for a County
Mental Health organization, and when he wrote his story
had been an alcoholism counselor for over a year and was
Morris was almost fifty
years old when he wrote his story, and was expecting soon
to meet his ex-wife and his two children, whom he had not
seen in twenty-three years. His son was to be married and
wanted Morris at the wedding. His ex-wife, from whom he
had not heard in over twenty-three years, had telephoned
him three weeks earlier about the wedding.
He wrote: "I am still arrogant,
egocentric, self-righteous, with no humility, even phony
at times, but I'm trying to be a better person and help
my fellowmen. Guess I'll never be a saint, but whatever
I am, I want to be sober and in A.A."
He ended his story by saying:
"God bless all you people in A.A. and especially you fellows
in prison. Remember, now you have a choice "
When last heard of Morris
was living in North Carolina.