Myron W., New York City.
(p. 370 in 1st edition.)
Myron sobered up in April of 1936.
His is another story that could have been titled, “Fired Again.” He was fired repeatedly, but often could find a still better job. During the Great Depression he was making $10,000 a year — an enormous salary at that time.
He would stop drinking for weeks or even months, then begin to drink moderately. He could do that for a time, but soon he would be back to problem drinking. How many times this happened, he didn’t know and didn’t even want to know.
His story could also have been called “The Car Smasher.” During this period he completely smashed nine new automobiles, but escaped without injury to himself. Even this, he said, didn’t convince him that there might be a God who was looking out for him, perhaps in answer to the prayers of others.
He abused his friends; he didn’t want to, but when it was a question of a friendship or a drink, he usually took the drink.
In a final effort to escape, he moved to New York thinking he could leave his reputation and troubles behind him. He was hired by eight nationally known organizations and fired just as quickly when they had checked his references. He felt the world was against him. They wouldn’t give him a chance. So he continued his drinking and took any mediocre job he could get.
He visited churches occasionally, hoping to find something that would help him. On one of these visits he met a girl he thought could be the answer to all of his problems. He was honest with her about his problems, but she knew better than to marry a man thinking she could reform him. She suggested prayer instead. And she told him “You must be decent for your own sake. And because you want to be decent, not because someone else wants you to be.” Myron then started bargaining with God but found that God didn’t work that way. He got neither the girl nor his old job back.
Six months later he was sitting in a small hotel, full of remorse and desperate. A middle-aged man approached him and said, “Do you really want to stop drinking?” When he answered yes, the man wrote down a name and address. “When you are sure you do, go and see this man.” He walked away. Myron tucked the address into his pocket along with a nickel for subway fare, just in case he ever decided to really quit.
A week later he found himself in the presence of the man whose address was in his pocket. His story was incredible. Myron couldn’t believe it, but he had the proof. He met other men whose stories convinced him that in the ranks of men who had been heavy drinkers he was an amateur and a sissy. What he heard was hard to believe but he wanted to believe it, and wanted to try it to see if it would work for him. It worked.
He was reconciled to the fact that he might have to wash dishes, scrub floors, or do some menial task for many years in order to re-establish himself as a sober, sane, and reliable person. Although he still wanted and hoped for the better things in life, he was prepared to accept whatever was due him.
Good things began to happen to him. He applied for a position with a national organization. When asked why he had left a previous job, he told the truth. He had been fired for being a drunk. He got the job.
He was sober three and a half years when he wrote his story. Those years were the happiest of his life. He had married a woman who cared enough for him to tell him the nasty truth when he needed to hear it.
He continued to receive obstacles of various kinds. He failed at business at least twenty times. But he was not discouraged, sad or resentful. He knew that only good would come from the experience.