E.B.R., “Bob,” New York City.
(p. 540 in 2nd edition, p. 531 in 3rd edition.)
They Lost Nearly All
“An ambitious playwright, he let his brains get so far ahead of his emotions that he collapsed into suicidal drinking. To learn to live, he nearly died.”
Bob, as he calls himself in his story, found A.A. and stopped drinking in January 1947. He wrote an update of his story for the September 1967 A.A. Grapevine, which he signed with the initials E.B.R.
He had wanted to be a great author, and write plays, but was stuck in a job he hated, with people he disliked. Disappointed with his life, he decided to kill himself, but instead decided to drink himself to death. Instead he drank himself into lost jobs, jails, hospitals, and heavy debt.
At the point he first went to A.A. it had not worked for him – because he had not worked for A.A. His serious drinking lasted seven or eight years. After recovery he entered a new field – perhaps alcoholism – in which he taught and about which he published a book. He still wanted to write a fine play.
In his 1967 update he reported: “The bad old years of suffocating in the deep morass of alcoholism, are years I could have used to good advantage had I not been trapped by this hideous disease. There were seven or eight years before I found A.A. – oh, how I could have used those years! But they were not wasted; they stripped me of everything, including self-respect; but they made me ready for the happiness of the last twenty years in A.A.”