This week’s Here’s To Your Health is the beginning of Dennis’ story.


My name is Dennis. My home group is the Queen’s City Group in Charlotte, North Carolina and my sobriety date is 1st of February 1981. I like riding in Cadillacs and I want to ride in as many as possible before I die. I have a home group, a sponsor, a sobriety date, a valid driver’s license, a pay-stub and I got me a woman named Libra who also happens to be my wife. I must confess that I have an inferiority complex and an enormous ego, but I love Alcoholics Anonymous and the life this program has opened up to me. I don’t know a whole lot, but I know more than when I got here.

I like coming up North. People up here know theories us folks down south don’t ever hear about and I hear something new every time I come up here. Our schools in North Carolina are antiquated, which is a fancy word for backwards, but I hear stuff up here; I never heard before. People theorize that we drank too much for too long and others say we were born that-a-way or we were genetically predisposed? And, recently, I heard some really heavy theories that alcoholism is caused by a deposit of some sort of stuff on our hypo-thalamus, or that it’s a pleasure disorder. If those folks believe it’s a pleasure disorder, they never drunk Thunderbird Wine; that’s not pleasure drinking.
I’d hate to be born that way; I got to do a little drinking before I got mine. If there’s one thing I know it’s this. I’m sober today by the grace of a loving God who continues to manifest Himself in me through Alcoholics Anonymous and through an ever-growing circle of A.A. friends. And, as my relationship with A.A. improves so too does my relationship with God as I apply A.A.’s principles in my life.

I never expected my life to get this good and I absolutely love it. But look, I didn’t like, get-in here because I didn’t think I got to drink long enough; I wanted more punishment. I didn’t like being low man on the totem pole; I wanted to be an old-timer. I couldn’t believe those old guys could be sober and happy about it. They seemed so content and smiled all the time. I thought they probably quit drinking because they got to old to drink. They was fifty, sixty, seventy and some was even older than that.

Back home old-timers come to meetin’s wearin’ bib-overalls and they sit at the back of the meetin’; where I wanted to sit. When alcoholics get sober, there they buy new furniture and move their old furniture out to the front porch and then after a while they donate it to the half-way house. A few years later they do the same thing again, it gets recycled again to the half-way house and that’s how it got in the back of that meetin’ room.

Some of these guys were so old they’d go to sleep while I read How-It-Works and by the time I got to the Promises they were snoring out loud. They’d sleep like that until I said something dumb and they’d all wake up at the same time and start asking me questions they knew the answers to. They didn’t want to break my anonymity so they called me boy. The first question was, “Boy, who told you that?” Nobody told me that, I was smart. I already knew lots of dumb stuff. As a matter of fact, when I drank liquor it ran my IQ up to about 350. I knew stuff nobody else knows. It just comes to me. I’ve been getting’ information like that from nowhere for years. Their second question was, “Can you find that in the Big Book?” Well, I didn’t have a Big Book. You don’t need one if you ain’t plannin’ on getting’ sober! But, question number three was the one I hated most, “Boy, who’s your sponsor?” I’d say, “I don’t have a sponsor.”


To be continued.

The Waynedale News Staff

John Barleycorn

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