Pat M., New York City
(p. 509 in 2nd edition, p. 512 in 3rd edition.)
They Lost Nearly All
“He was drinking to hold on to his job, to hold on to his wife, to hold on to his sanity. Finally, he was drinking to keep away those little men, and those strange voices, and the organ music that came out of the walls.”
Pat probably joined AA and stopped drinking about 1952.
He was born in Ireland and came to the United States as a child. He started drinking at the age of sixteen, but wasn’t a social drinker very long. He had blackouts, began swearing off alcohol, and taking the morning drink quite early. He became a binge drinker.
He thought the Army would be a cure all, a new life. But when he returned from the Army things were probably worse because now he had a lot more resentments.
He married the girl he’d left behind, who had been warned by his own mother that he was a hopeless drunk. He stayed sober for her for nine months but then took a drink at a party. No one had warned him that it was the first drink that did the damage. His drinking became desperation drinking.
Finally he hit bottom. He knew he had come to the end of his rope and turned for help to someone he had turned his back on for years: God. He then went to the doctor who had treated him for DTs. The doctor sent him to the Alanon House on the West Side. There he was introduced to A.A. He found friendship and understanding he needed, he learned how to pray honestly.
Pat didn’t take the 10th step inventory at night. He took it continuously during the day. At the time he wrote his story he had not had a drink since his first meeting.
For him, A.A. had become a way of life.