This week’s HTYH is the beginning of another recovery story, shared by Tim T. on Alcoholics Anonymous Founders Day at Akron, OH. A state trooper was sitting by the highway when a pickup truck full of penguins drove by. The trooper stopped the truck and asked the driver what he was doing? The driver said, “I’m taking these penguins on a scenic tour.” The trooper said, “Son, you better take those penguins to the zoo before they cause an accident.” The next day the same trooper spotted the same pickup truck full of penguins except this time they were all wearing sunglasses. The trooper stopped the truck and said, “Son, I thought I told you to take those penguins to the zoo.” The driver said, “Yes, Sir, I did and they had a swell time, but today they wanted to go to the beech.”
I did not want to be an alcoholic, my father was an alcoholic; he first came to A.A. in 1946. He was in and out of A.A. until 1970; he passed away in 1980 with ten years of continuous sobriety. I thought I knew all about alcoholism and A.A., but later discovered I knew very little. I had 6 step fathers, 13 step mothers, attended 20 different schools and never finished the eighth grade. I left home at age 14 and spent a lot of time in youth detention centers, city and county jails, work houses, foster homes, treatment centers and penitentiaries. I spent 12 continuous years of my life either on probation or locked up, but none of those things were the reason I came to Alcoholics Anonymous. Those were but a myriad of situations the malady of alcoholism and alcoholic thinking created in my life.
On June the 23, 1982, I woke up at the bottom, the one they talk about in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. I was in a state of hopelessness, desperation, and despair at the jumping off point, wishing for the end because I could no longer image life with, or without alcohol; that’s my bottom. That wasn’t a high bottom or a low bottom, it was my bottom and that’s the only one I need concern myself with. Coming to Alcoholics Anonymous was my bottom. I never want to sit around A.A. and think that I wasn’t as bad as him or her, or perhaps worse because if I allow myself to believe that I’m different or more unique than anybody else then I have mental reservations. An old-timer in OH used to tell me that if I had reservations I must be going somewhere and I don’t want to go anywhere else because I like it here in A.A.
I had my first drink of alcohol at 13, I got falling down drunk, blacked out and ended up passed out in a woman’s backyard. I had my last drink of alcohol at the age of 30, I got falling down drunk, got sick and passed out at home. The only difference between my first and last drunk was where I woke up, I know one thing for sure, God wants me here in A.A. That poor woman who came out her back door and found me passed out in her yard took me in, cleaned me up, called my mother and told her I was allright. 17 years later I came to an A.A. meeting, I was about two weeks sober and that same woman was speaking at that meeting. On my very first drunk I ended up with an A.A. lady who tried to help me. That woman did for me that night what she knew best how to do; she helped another drunk. She said later that she was sober about three months when she discovered me in her yard and she did what her home group told her to do; she helped another alcoholic. Her home group didn’t tell her to help young or old drunks, white drunks, male or female drunks, educated or uneducated drunks, they simply told her to help another drunk. To be continued.