This week’s HTYH is a continuation of a medical doctors story: In 1953, after a ten-year depression, Bill Wilson said that almost all of his emotional problems stemmed from his need for approval. He needed, craved, lived for and was motivated by people’s approval. I’ve held grown men in my arms and rubbed the back of their heads and told them that I loved them while they told their darkest secrets–secrets they swore they’d never tell anybody. They must have initially thought that I would either laugh at them or, get up and walk out. I tell them, “We’re not through yet, but I once did this or that and I too swore that I’d never share those things with another human being, but I did.” They share those things because they want my approval—all human beings have a vital need to share their secrets with somebody who understands them. Alcoholics and addicts are only as sick as their secrets—but beware of whom you share them with because some sponsors will call your wife. None of us are unique and whatever one of us has done, someone else, at some time or place has done the same thing—especially AA people. There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to the secret affairs of human beings.

I love men, I’m female dominated, but I love everything about men. I played my first game of football in the second grade and my last one at the age of 33 in the military. I love the smell of men’s locker rooms, the way we walk, talk, curse, tell jokes and the way we pass gas, I love men and being a man.

I learned about “conditional love” first at home and then at church, but I have no problem with religion. I grew up in a Baptist Church and when I had a shotgun stuck in my mouth I didn’t pull the trigger because of what I learned in that church. After I returned from treatment for alcoholism, I spent a lot of time talking to my neighbor who was an Episcopal minister. I wanted to join his church and he said that was a fine idea, but I should first join AA because they have a much better success rate at treating alcoholism than any of the churches. I spent the next 8 years after treatment as a lay-leader while attending 7 AA meetings a week. I was trying to be all things to all people but I wasn’t tall enough–it was cutting me in half. My minister and I spent all day one Saturday praying and asking God where He wanted me to work. I was willing to go to seminary even though I’d rather have an ice-water enema, but if God wanted me to go-I would’ve gone. At the end of the day my minister suggested more AA and less church so I dedicated myself to homeless shelters, prisons, AA meetings and church on Sunday. I learned about “conditional love,” in church, either you do and believe this or, you go to hell and in my church the only way you could get to heaven was to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I had no problem with Jesus, but I did have a problem with sin. I was 12 years old sitting in a Baptist church when I heard the preacher say, “It’s better to spill your seeds on the belly of a whore than on the ground.” I had just found a new pull-toy and was having one hell of time reconciling what I was doing with what I was hearing from the pulpit. I was doing what most other 12-year old boys did, but nevertheless I was guilty of mortal sin. I’d get baptized every Sunday morning and ask for forgiveness because I believed that sin was going to kill me, but I couldn’t quit because it felt so good. Sexual orgasm is one of the major producers of a brain chemical called Beta-endorphins and when the male brain gets flooded with its own natural morphine it becomes vulnerable, confused and sometimes makes wild promises. To be continued…

John Barleycorn

The phantom writer of the column "Here's to Your Health". This writer is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore must maintain anonymity. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer