Morris B., Long Island, New York.
(p. 457 in 3rd edition.)
They 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, sick.
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 alcoholic?”
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 death.”
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 next meeting.
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 off parole.
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.