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So,let's see, where do we begin.......I was 15 years old.....

As I remember it , a friend of mine asked me if my father made his own wine. I said,"Yes,He has a couple of wine barrels down in the basement where it's cool" He said"Can you get some?"

"Of course",I said. and I got about a quart jar of it and we tasted it on the corner of "L" street and Broadway in South Boston ,Mass.And that was the first time I got woozy.It was a case of drinking on and off at parties until I went to the army in 1959 and found out you could drink under 21 in the army post.Then it was drinking any time we got off duty. That was the beginning.

As time went on I went on,I got married and started a family and had 4 nice kids. The problem was I would drink before I got home from work and find a way to go out after dinner and drink some more. My wife put up with this for 17 years until one time ,my sister-in-law said I needed to go to a re-hab. And between the two,her and my wife,I was talked into it. Only problem was they put me in a psychiatric ward. Back in the 70's,I guess they thought it was a mental desease. Well,I wound up going three times and never got sober.

BUT!!! A funny thing happened..... At the hospital,A chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous was holding a meeting once a week. At the beginning of each meeting ,a ticket was given out to each of the people attending. It was for a door prize and the prize was a copy of the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Step Book.At the end of the meeting ,the numbers of the tickets were put in a hat and a number called out.At my first meeting I WAS THE WINNER!!! The next week They pulled the number and I WON AGAIN!!! The third week I was discharged from the hospital,but my son and I went together to the meeting and I already had told everyone how I had won the books twice in a row. You won't believe this,BUT,I WON for the third time in a row...!!! I knew GOD was watching me. I did read that book a lot those first weeks and I did stop drinking for a while. But we all know what happened next.

YUP,only this time ,my wife gave up and told me to not come back home from the hospital. So I rented a small motel room and kept on drinking. We wound up getting a divorce and guess what,I kept on drinking,only this time I didn't have anyone to stop me.

Then I met my 2nd wife and the same thing went on with her until one time,I got so drunk one day,I went to work just to pick up my pay-check and I was going to get on a plane and go visit my son in California(2000 miles away). As I was waiting for my check ,my shop steward came to me and asked if he could talk to me about going to a re-hab before I went. I said"O.K.!" and told him I'd meet him a the bar up the street.

Well;I went and was drinking double whiskeys and waiting. After about 5 or 6 doubles,I said"Enough,I'm going" and went to the street to hail a Taxi. A little problem though,no Taxi's would stop!! So I went back and had another double. Fortified again,I went to get a Taxi again...same thing,no one would stop. So I thought,"I'll call one!" Only by now I can't see the numbers on the phone. So I sit down and guess who show up right then?

That was when I said ,"I give up,Take me!" and he took me to a hospital that had a AA re-hab,and not a psychiatric place. I stayed there for a few days ,but it wasn't taking on me and I wanted to be closer to home so I could get my wife to visit. That's when they sugested a re-hab closer and I went.

There I met people from work that also had a drinking problem.I didn't know them then,but we got to be friends.

At this Re-hab,it seemed very different fron any other re-hab I had been in.At this one they showed me what alcohol was doing to my brain! They showed me how the alcohol causes the brain to create a substance that makes you desire ,no,creates an obsession,that no amount of will power could over-come. A sort of chemical reaction. That's why they now call it chemical dependency.

Another thing is the ups and downs of alcohol and drugs. How it works is something like this. If you were not drinking at all you would have a life line like this -------------------------------------------------------------- when you drink,you get high^^^^ and when you stop for a few hours you go down---_ _ _ and that's when you need a drink to get back to normal..........................................................................It goes up and down^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^____------^^^^^^------_______-----^^^^^^ Up you feel good,down you feel sick. When you drink all the time ,you are trying to just stay on a level line,and not go down to feel sick.------------------------------.

Well that's what they showed me and said I needed to give up to my "Higher Power " and I could stop drinking. Also there are 12 steps you should follow. The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs

And here is where what they call "A higher Power" comes in.. You don't have to believe in GOD,All you have to do is to agree that YOU have no power over alcohol,and that there is someone or something out there who can do it for you. You have to say"I give up,I have no power over alcohol or drugs.I ask the "Higher Power" to take over for me and take away the desire to drink or do drugs."

That's what I did back in 1986 and with the knowledge that I have an obsession with alcohol caused by a chemical reaction,I can truly say,since I agreed to to give up to my "Higher Power',I have NOT HAD THE NEED OR DESIRE for a drink for over 12 years!!!

ANOTHER THING!!!! That's the story you read about in the news,that the person had not had a drink in a long time and they take a drink,then the disease takes over and they really and literally drink themselves to death in a few days!!!

I pray to my Higher Power every night before I go to sleep and thank my Higher Power for keeping me sober for the last 24 hours and to please keep me sober for another 24 hours.

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