This week, HTYH is a continuation of Bud’s story: Mary didn’t go to anymore Alanon meetings but she still has those darned Alanon pamphlets and her killer book, “Living with an Alcoholic.” I still had five more years of drinking to do. Chapter three is titled, “More about drinking,” and I thought it should be titled “An Attempt to Control Drinking.”


The last five years of my drinking was the worst kind of drinking any alcoholic can do and, I was forever over-shooting the mark. Whenever I reached my cut-off point, I blew right by it and kept drinking until I passed out. After five miserable years of failed attempts at controlled drinking, my lawyer took me to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and I have not had a drink of alcohol since then!

I cringed when I heard you talking about a Higher Power and thought to myself, this must be another darned religion? I knew they were talking about God, and their Higher Power crap didn’t fool me. I went to six meetings a week, but refused to go on Sundays because I suspected that was prayer night? That lasted about six months and once I learned it wasn’t I started going on Sundays too and ended up with eight home groups?
I continued to tolerate you people and your Higher Power baloney for two years and one night my oldest daughter called and said she was in college. She heard that I was going to A.A. and had been sober two years and so she wanted to come to California and work in my office during summer break. She did that and everyday we went to work together, I owed all of that to A.A. and sobriety.

My first wife was in the process of taking me to court again for child support but my daughter wanted no part of the court battle, she only wanted to have a relationship with dad.

One morning we were discussing the court deal and she exploded, flew into a rage, left the kitchen, slammed the back door and I heard a blood curdling scream. I thought, “Now she’s really letting it all hang out!” Seconds later she came back in holding out her left hand, “She didn’t get it out of the door in time and it chopped off 3 fingers.” I got her to lie down, I retrieved the fingers and wrapped them with her stubs in a sterile wrapping and covered them with ice. I belong to a society called the “Hand Society,” and there were only about 300 members then. I called a buddy who said, “Meet me at the ER” and we did. He said, “This sort of accident happens frequently with car doors, sliding windows and etc. and she’s going to end up with three fingers the same length.”  He said, “If she was 2 or 3 years old I’d sew them back on, but at her age it’s not realistic because they won’t heal.” I wasn’t buying it and he finally agreed to sew them back on, but he warned me they would soon become infected, turn black and gangerous and eventually we would have to remove them!  I said, “Well, at least we tried!”

That night it all came down on me, I suddenly realized what a rotten, selfish and self-centered person I was and that my life seemed a miserable failure. Faithful Mary put up with me not eating, not going to work and the constant crying. She reminded me that I wasn’t the one who slammed the door on my daughter’s fingers, but deep down at the alcoholic’s gut level, we are so full of anger, resentments, remorse, guilt and shame that kind words are of no avail. I never thought about taking a drink of alcohol, but I was contemplating suicide.

One night after Mary and I went to bed it all came crashing down and I did something that I’d never before in my entire life done, I got out of bed, got down on my knees and said, “OK God, whatever you have planned for her, me and those fingers, I absolutely accept!” To be continued.

The Waynedale News Staff

John Barleycorn

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