Biography: Author unknown, “Lifesaving Words”
Author unknown, Lucknow, India.
(p. 342 in 3rd edition.)
They Stopped in Time
“For this officer in the Indian Army, going on the wagon was not enough, attempts at control failed. The answer came to him by mail.”
This man is believed to have stopped drinking in January of 1973.
He attended high school in an American-sponsored Methodist public school, known as Philander Smith College, and eventually became a schoolmaster. He left that to join the Indian Army and was soon a commissioned officer. It was after he joined the Army that his alcoholism made itself known.
Eight years before writing his story, he and his wife spent a vacation in sixty-day leave in Naini Tal, the mountain resort. That was his first long vacation since joining the army. It was during this vacation that he decided to stop drinking, and he succeeded in this attempt for approximately fifteen months with only a couple of slips. But being an alcoholic, he always looked forward to the day when he could drink again.
At Christmas time the next year he convinced his wife that he had alcohol under control and could do controlled drinking over Christmas and the New Year. In a short time it became uncontrolled drinking. For the next three years he tried often again to stop, but failed miserably.
Then he saw an A.A. advertisement in a newspaper and wrote to the address it gave. The reply came putting him in touch by mail with an A.A. member in New Delhi. This man sent him literature which he read systematically since then, and A.A. literature kept him sober.
The year before writing his story he took another vacation in Naini Tal. He made this one an A.A. vacation. He read, studied, and meditated on every bit of A.A. literature in his possession, studied the Big Book again, and took down notes for reference purposes.
“The difference between the two vacations was this: On the first, though on the water wagon, I looked forward to my next drink. I went on the wagon more to placate my wife than anything else. On the second, I knew — as I know now — that if I remained away from the first drink, then I had not to worry about the hundredth one. And I knew this: Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic. I owe everything to A.A.”