This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Casey’s story:  My compulsive-obsessive disease of my mind and body is called alcoholism. I can’t tell anybody else if they have it, but I have it, and I guarantee you that if I leave it untreated it will eventually cause me to commit suicide, homicide, or be institutionalized. If you’re new to the tables of Alcoholics Anonymous and you doubt what I’m telling you please stay here long enough to observe what happens to all the people who don’t treat their malady. I was born in Sandusky, Ohio, the second of three boys and we had a Christian mother and father who were two of the finest people on earth. My mother and father made certain their children had everything that they were ever denied while they were growing up. My mother worked for Chrysler Corporation, my father worked for General Motors, and I’m retired from Ford Motor Company. We had a great life growing up and our lives were centered on church. My mother was the president of the Ohio Baptist Women’s Convention and she was the highest ranking woman executive at Chrysler Corporation. She was the smartest and most brilliant person I have ever known.


In the book 12 Steps and 12 Traditions it talks about spiritual principles and honesty. In my house we were taught that honesty is the best policy and we got a whipping from our father if we got caught lying. Honesty is all about Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.

My mother told me that the sun doesn’t rise and set on me alone, she said, “Look out the window son, at all of the other created things, trees, flowers, birds grass and people, do you think all of that is by accident?” She said, “Son there’s a power greater than you that created everything in this universe; you’re just a tiny part of it, and all that you have to do to communicate with that power is become willing to believe in it. ” That’s Step Two: Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

She said that if I would surrender my life to that power she called God; I would always have everything I needed. She said, “God is inside of you; not outside.” That’s Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

My mother said, “Any time you’ve got a problem no matter how bad you think it is; take a good look at it, pray about it, and come and talk to us about it. A problem shared is a problem halved; we’re only as sick as our secrets. That’s Step Four: Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves, and Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

My mother said, “The biggest room in your life is the room for improvement, if you can make C’s you can make B’s and if you can make B’s you can make A’s and if you ask that Power for help and admit that you don’t know something; it will help you because that’s what the power does. That’s Step Six: We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these character defects and Step Seven: Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings; or what we ask Him to make us entirely ready to do in Step Six.

In our house we were told that any time we did wrong, hurt, harmed or wronged anybody to make right and apologize; clean up your mess, that’s Step Eight: Made a list of all people we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all and Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.  To be continued.

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John Barleycorn

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