This weeks HTYH is a continuation of Dave’s story: My counselor asked me, “David where are you right now?”

“I’m sitting in a treatment center,” I answered, “Because I tried to kill myself.”

“Where’s your mother right now?” she asked.

“She’s probably at the farm watching soap operas or, a game show and visiting with her friends,” I said.

“David, it seems to me your mother’s life is going pretty good but yours isn’t. You look down your nose at her because she’s not educated and you’re blaming her for your troubles but you’re the one with all of the education and problems. What’s wrong with this picture? Maybe you have it backwards. Perhaps the one that’s not educated is the smart one and the one with all of the education is the dumb one?”

I didn’t like that, but I said, “You don’t understand, I’ll show her, I’ll kill myself!”

“Will that show her?” she asked.

“I was going to show her that I didn’t need her,” I said.

“David, your mother doesn’t know that you’re going to show her. Did you ever tell her to her face that you’re going to show her?”

“No,” I scoffed,. “I’ve never said anything like that to her.”

“Well then,” she said. “How could she know if you’ve never told her. The fight that you’re fighting is between your own ears and nobody else even knows about it. You’ve got to let that resentment go or, it will kill you.”

“How do I do that?” I asked.

“First,” she said, “You have to admit that you’re powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable. Next you have to admit that you’re powerless over your mother too. You’re powerless over whatever she did to you and you must accept that before you can move forward.”

“How can I do that?” I asked.

She insisted that I would have to pray for my mother and ask God to give her everything that I ever wanted. She said if I did that I could stay in their facility, but if I wouldn’t, I would have to leave because I was where no human power could help me, but God could and would help if He were sought.

“What do you want for yourself?” she asked.

“I want to be sober, happy, joyous and free,” I said.

She said, “Then pray for those same things for your mother.”

I said, “But she doesn’t drink alcohol.”

She said, “Pray for her to be sober, happy, joyous and free anyway–just do it.”
The next morning, I prayed for my mother while I was in the shower because I didn’t want anybody to see me praying. Nothing happened right then, but when I went to therapy and she asked me if I had prayed for my mother, I said Yes and something inside me felt different. She said, “Pray for her every day for two weeks.” After two weeks she asked me to pray for my mother two more weeks and after 3 months I had prayed for my mother everyday.

A male counselor asked me to write a Step Four inventory list of my fears, resentments and sex relations and I was, ever so slowly, beginning to surrender to the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. I wrote a letter to my mother and told her where I was staying so she wouldn’t worry and her attitude seemed to be changing too. 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