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Long-Timers Stories 4-1

Long timer story 4/1:

My friend and hero Mel B, when he went on to the meeting in the sky, had been sober more than 66 years and 9 months!

He shared this about resentment, during one of our phone calls:

People in AA who have one will sometimes say something like, "I don't have a resentment; I just feel sorry for the poor bastard!"



Long-Timers Stories 4-2

Long timer story 4-2:

When I got to talk to Jay C (51 years sober!) on the phone in 2019, I asked him about my friend and hero Barbara who I used to see at the 7 Clan Group along with him, and he said she's still with us, sober 55 years!

And I'm blessed with remembering a conversation we had before the meeting once--

It started with a miracle--me asking for help--with the 4th Step, asking if she had any suggestions on it.

She asked if I'd been lying on it--being dishonest.

And I was blessed to say yes.

And she said "you're only lying to yourself"--that before the 5th Step, it's only me and my Higher Power seeing the inventory.

That helped me let go of projecting into the next Step, and get writing.



Long-Timers Stories 4-3

Long timer story 4-3:

Cecil C, before passing on to the meeting in the sky, I believe reached 61 years of sobriety! In his story in 1000 Years of Sobriety, he shared this about the 4th Step--

"In my company, taking an inventory means reviewing and then writing down everything we have in stock. It's pretty standard business procedure. So when we are talking about the biggest business of all--this business of living a sober life--why is it that so many of us refuse to write it down? We refuse to put pencil to paper. Some simply say, 'I can't do that.' Over many years of working with people in the program, I've noticed that the toughest part of this Step is getting the pencil and paper.

For example, I have been privileged to be the institutional chairman for our province. This allows me to work the Twelve Steps with a lot of inmates. When we come to Step Four with these men, we give them a pencil and paper, just in case they should tell us that they couldn't find any. They take their inventory within the prison."



Long-Timers Stories 4-4

Long timer story 4-4:

Steve P stayed sober over 60 years, through incredible difficulty that he shared about in 1000 Years of Sobriety--

"The program of Alcoholics Anonymous gave me a new way to live; I've done that successfully for over sixty-three years. Because of my friends in AA and the support I found in the program, I have been able to overcome challenges that I would otherwise not have prevailed over.

My daughter was killed by a drunk driver a few years ago. The court asked me if I wanted to make any sentencing recommendations for the driver. Because of AA I was able to tell the judge that the man needed help and forgiveness. Since I took action I was able to be free of resentment."



Long-Timers Stories 4-5

Long timer story 4-5:

Bob B reached 51 years of sobriety! In "The Spark That Kept Me Going," in the November 2009 Grapevine, he shared about getting, at nearly 50 years sober, a phone call from the son he'd never met, who had a resentment toward his mother, Bob's ex-wife--

"I finally had the chance to tell him my story. How two very young people met and, because of serious problems, could not make their relationship work. Although his mother did have problems, there were also many dysfunctional behaviors and faults on my end. From the age of 14, I had abused alcohol. I eventually enlisted in the Navy to help solve my drinking problem.

I told him that most, if not all, of our problems had to do with my drinking and all the problems alcohol causes: resentments, immaturity, lying and cheating, among other alcoholic traits. I told him that my defects were probably worse than his mom's. It was only through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and my Higher Power that I was able to turn my life around, one day at a time, and live sober and productively. I let him know that I had never forgotten him, and had wondered what had happened to him and how he was-if he was still alive.

We ended our conversation with a plan to meet at long last."



Long-Timers Stories 4-6

Long timer story 4-6:

Paul M, before he passed, reached 62 years of sobriety! In a March 1978 Grapevine article, "Don't Sell the Newcomer Short! Tell him that 'how it works' means working the Twelve Steps," he shared this--

"I spent the first sixteen years of my AA life suffering from the delusion that I should take only one Fourth and one Fifth Step. After sixteen years of sobriety, I tried repeating them and found immense benefits that far outweigh trying to subsist on the Tenth Step.

Reading Bill's story in the Big Book, I find that he took the first eight Steps in the first week he was sober. If he could do it, so can we. So I encourage the person I work with to get started writing his inventory early in his sobriety. This is with the understanding that his Fourth Step, like all the Steps, is to be repeated as long as he's in AA.

In my experience, these headings are generally helpful for a Fourth Step: Resentments, Dishonesty, Sex, Selfishness, Self-Pity, Fear, Sarcasm, Intolerance, Jealousy, Money. In addition, the seven cardinal sins can be used, too: Pride, Lust, Anger, Envy, Greed, Sloth, and Gluttony. There is some duplication, but not enough to hurt. To be effective, the inventory should be honest, thorough, specific, and written."



Long-Timers Stories 4-7

Long timer story 4-7:

Tom I reached at least 60 years of sobriety! In a recorded lead, he shared about "where a major turning point came"--

"Went to a meeting one day, the speaker spent the entire meeting on the 4th Step. That's all he talked about. Read part of it, illustrated part of it.

Went back to my cell when it was over, and I said 'Okay, I'm gonna do that.' Now I had read the stuff, and what I meant to write was a little story about how a nice guy such as me got into such a mess ... .

I started to write, I wrote two lines of what I had in mind, then ... it was like I hit a wall. And the delusion started to end. ... I stopped that foolishness, and poured out my heart, and wrote my first inventory. It was a crude-looking thing ... [but] I'll tell you what it was, was the most important day's work this old boy has ever done in his entire life."



Long-Timers Stories 4-8

Long timer story 4-8:

Sybil C, by the time she passed, had reached 57 years of sobriety! In this lead, I believe from 1985, she shared this from our early history, about her brother Tex, and freedom from fear in L.A. A.A.--

"I didn't realize how the man had been hurting. He was a marvelous actor about it. And one night, he said, 'You know, Syb, it's kind of ridiculous for us to be going down to Long Beach on Wednesday . . . and then down to the mother group downtown on Friday. I think I'll start a group about halfway, so we can have one right in the middle of the week. And he did; he started the Hole in the Ground, in Huntington Park.

Well, I'll tell you, the founders downtown, what do you think they did? . . . the week that he started that meeting, the elders, or the clique, or the committee, whoever you want to call the troublemakers (laughter), they were all charged up and they met him at the door. And they said '. . . We knew when we laid eyes on you that you were gonna be a troublemaker and disrupt our group, which has always been such a peaceful one until you came along. And . . . we have incorporated Alcoholics Anonymous in California, which means no one can start a group without our permission. And we are here to tell you that you will have to fold up that new group you've started, because we're not giving you our permission.' . . .

And Tex sat down. He was laughing so hard. He roared . . . until tears were rolling down his face. He said 'You've incorporated AA?' He said 'I'll lay you 8 to 5, within 3 months we'll have groups from here to Orange County and down by the sea.' And, of course, he was right."

Another time when she told that story, she quoted Tex saying 'You might as well try to incorporate a sunset,' if I remember right.



Long-Timers Stories 4-9

Long timer story 4-9:

Johnny H, when I got to meet him in 2018, had been sober well over 50 years, maybe around 58!

In a talk a few years before that, he shared this about Step 4--

"It says 'We made a searching and a fearless moral inventory.' It says here an page 63, at the bottom, after we've taken that Step, it says 'Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first of which is a personal housecleaning, which many of us have never attempted.'

Now this is very dangerous to a lot of people, particularly people like me. And you get very many different reactions behind the 4th Step. . . .

When I started to write my inventory . . . I put things down there that I had thought about and tried to hide all my life. And by the time I got to the point where I couldn't stand myself, where I was afraid to even shave myself anymore because of the madness that was about me, I had to do something about it. . . .

. . . so when I started to write this inventory, it was a debilitating thing."



Long-Timers Stories 4-10

Long timer story 4-10:

Clancy I passed with 61 years of sobriety!

In the book 1000 Years of Sobriety, he recalled this conversation with his sponsor--

"I told him 'I hate living in a car. I don't get enough to eat. And AA just isn't working for me.'

He replied rather sternly, saying 'Listen, you punk! Why don't you write your Fourth Step?'

My response was not very enthusiastic. I mumbled, 'In my judgment, I'd be better off dead.'

'If I wanted your damned judgment, I'd come down and stick my head in the car window. Your judgment has you sleeping in a car. Now you need to follow some directions and get busy!'

By that time I was so mad I walked up Wilshire Avenue, found some paper and a pencil, and began writing a Fourth Step inventory. Afterward, nothing seemed to change. I still had to go back and sleep in the abandoned car. I was still hungry, jobless and missed my kids. There was only one thing I proved by doing the inventory and that was that it didn't work--I wanted immediate results. It's interesting that I might have done this Step for the wrong reason at the time (my anger toward Bob). However, as it turned out, the anger was enough of a motivator for me to become willing to take action."



Long-Timers Stories 4-11

Long timer story 4-11:

Ralph Z, before he passed, passed 66 years of sobriety!

He shared that that was not his first try at staying sober in AA; he had come before, but gotten a resentment, left and then relapsed.

Miraculously, he did make it back, and though "quick to get resentments," was able to use this program on them, and stay sober.



Long-Timers Stories 4-12

Long timer story 4-12:

By the time John H shared his story for 1000 Years of Sobriety, he had been sober over 50 years!

There, he shared about reaching a turning point, at a meeting--

"I arrived early and went inside to the 'street people meeting' wearing the finest clothes money can buy. The thought came to me that I needed to hang up my coat. Just as that thought entered my mind, I knew I couldn't--somebody would steal it. Suddenly those thoughts terrorized me. What had I become? I had been sober for nineteen years and I was sicker than I had been after one year. I could see that 'self-reliance' was failing me, and I had become an egotistical phony. The only thing missing from total alcoholic ruin was alcohol.

That night I packed up, called my sponsor in LA, and headed back there. For the next thirty days, we went through the Twelve Steps of AA. I finally started cleaning up the wreckage of my life, as I should have done many years before. Howdy was a lifesaver, and I'll always have a special place in my heart for him.

During my time in LA, I also attended a weekend retreat conducted by a Catholic priest known in AA as Father John Doe. His real name was Father Ralph Pfau. It was there that I did my Fourth Step."



Long-Timers Stories 4-13

Long timer story 4-13:

When Dave C shared his story for 1000 Years of Sobriety, he had been sober over 51 years!

His story included a life-changing experience with fear, from his first few years of sobriety--

" . . . Red and Sue drove me to an interview for an engineering job with Virginia's highway department. It was the second week of December, 1957. The man asked me a lot of questions and, trying to abide by AA's principle of rigorous honesty, I told him the absolute truth. He looked me straight in the eye and said, 'Son, if you're willing to help yourself, we're willing to help you, too. When can you go to work?'

I was shocked and scared to death. I blurted out that I had a lot of business to tend to and probably couldn't start until about the first of February. He said that would be fine. When I returned to the car and told Red and Sue what happened, they marched me right back into that man's office and told him I could start working the very next day.

This is how I learned that fear can really slow us down and that we must put our trust in God and the AA program. I had to be led like this in the beginning, by loving friends like Red and Sue and so many others who really loved and cared about me."



Long-Timers Stories 4-14

Long timer story 4-14:

My friend and hero Tom A, in June of 2020, reached 54 years of sobriety!

He shared with me that he reached a turning point, maybe in double digit sobriety, when he began, in his 4th Step, to add another column.

In addition to the ones mentioned in the Big Book (and I believe he included the three shown in the book plus the fourth one that's mentioned--"we resolutely looked for our own mistakes"), he added "How I retaliated"--as its own section.

And he suggested that I do the same.



Long-Timers Stories 4-15

Long timer story 4-15:

My friend and hero Gene O reached 59 years of sobriety in December of 2019!

Maybe a couple of years before that, in 2016 or 2017, he tragically lost his grand-daughter and other family, when their car was hit by a drunk driver, who also died.

The news came to me first from our wonderful mutual friend Shawn D, who told me what Gene had said--that he couldn't resent that drunk driver, because it could have been him.

On the day that I called Gene after that tragedy, I was having a tough time with having totaled my car, and then putting a scratch on my father's car, which he'd loaned me.

As I listened to Gene share that he couldn't resent that drunk driver because it could have been him, I was blessed with perspective: what's on my father's car is just a scratch, I'm sober, I could be dead and could have taken lives, but instead I'm this blessed; I wasn't even really injured.

So that conversation with Gene helped me with resentments toward myself and the God of my (mis?)understanding, I believe.



Long-Timers Stories 4-16

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/16:Our friend (and onevof my heroes) David "Mac" M reached 63 years of sobriety last August!  In one of many substantive emails I've been blessed with from him, he included a piece of writing on feelings, that has this to say about fear:

"What is our fear, including anxiety telling us?  I believe my fear is telling me I sense or experience a threat to my wellbeing.  The key word is threat.  The threat may be as clear as an onrushing car that seems to be out of control, or as vague as a sense something unknown may affect my health.  There are all sort of real and imagined threats in our lives, and we have an ancient reaction to dangers of all kinds.  This, too, is part of who we are as human beings. Life will continue to produce threats of all kinds that trigger our fears.  It is what we do about our fear that is the question. The first fear question is “What is the threat to my safety, comfort or wellbeing?” Note: it may be that the threat is connected to another person, our family or other important person or group.  Even if the threat is directed to others it is still a threat to me too if I care about the person or persons being threatened.

When our bodies tell us there is a threat facing us, we can ask this question of ourselves: “Is this threat likely to happen to me (or somebody I care about, is it only possible something can happen to me or them?”  If it is only a slim possibility a threatened harm will actually happen to me, I may be wise not to obsess about it and let it go unless it really is something I need to take care of.Can you think of examples of this in your own life when you felt threatened, over-reacted and nothing happened?  Did your reaction match the identified threat? The emotion of fear may give you accurate messages you need to be aware indicating a danger or problem.  On the other hand, state of anxiety or a panic attack may be a self-inflicted over reaction to a perceived threat. Finding out how much of a threat is at hand can be overcome with better inventory skills."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic 



Long-Timers Stories 4-17

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/17:Ron C, by the time he shared his story in 1000 Years of Sobriety, had been sober over 54 years!  It includes these helpful excerpts--"When I finally began working the AA program, I found the first three Steps helped me establish a growing relationship with God.  I came to understand that He had always loved me and cared for me.  The Fourth and Fifth Steps enabled me to look at myself honestly and see and admit what was causing me to remain sick--that it was not the alcohol but the alcoholism."

"Often at our meetings, we hear members talk about those 'yets' that are out there if a person continues to drink.  I believe the same thing applies if we continue to go to meetings and live the Twelve Steps in our lives each day.  I've had a lot of wonderful 'good yets' happen in my sobriety, and hopefully there will be more to come."And one of them was friendship with Lois W, that included this conversation:"I told Lois that finding Alcoholics Anonymous and stopping drinking was truly a gift from God, but that I still had to work hard to maintain my sobriety and improve the spiritual part of my life.  She told me that Bill, who had that marvelous spiritual experience, had to do the same thing.  He always said that we must never take our sobriety for granted."  

Love and service, Chadeus, Alcoholic 



Long-Timers Stories 4-18

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!  

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, terrifically, marvelously sober to share, 4/18: Art K reached 54 years of sobriety before he passed!

For maybe 3 wonderful years before that, I got to talk with him on the phone almost every day, go to meetings with him, and have fun outside of meetings, along the way hearing stories about his sponsor, Johnny S.  He told and retold the story of his "hard-cored sponsor" Johnny giving him a Big Book and a dictionary, and telling him, loud, in no uncertain terms, to do what it said.  That seemed like Johnny's answer no matter what Art was going through--"read it!," and "do it!"  

Over half a century later, he'd share Johnny's words with me, not only what he'd said but how he'd said it.  While I wish I could remember exactly what they were, I believe "do what's in the book!" is about right.  And it worked. 

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoho



Long-Timers Stories 4-19

Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/19:

Matt I passed with 52 years of sobriety! His friend, Gerry W, helped a lot, like Matt, by Paul M in Chicago, told me by e-mail that Matt "passed away at 52 years sober, with a CURRENT fourth Step inventory on his nightstand (as he had always practiced)." That started for Matt early on, or even at the start of his sobriety, when he asked Paul M to be his sponsor, and Paul "told me that I should take that, you know, 4th and 5th Step . . .." Then he continued to do it, even after that sponsor passed in 2009--when Matt was over 40 years sober.

Through writing and sharing inventories that first time, he said, he "really experienced some relief from myself," and maybe that continued over that half century of his sobriety--he said an ongoing, big problem of his was "Matt, that "this is the most difficult part": himself. He said he learned from his sponsor that it's "not what people do to me," but "my reaction that hurts me." And that understanding sure worked for him!

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic 




Long-Timers Stories 4-20

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/20:Bob E passed with 56 years of sobriety!  His dear friend, Tom A, remembered this story from Bob's early days (in his book The Earll of Recovery)--

"He was in a quiet fury as he checked his watch every minute or so.  He needed to make his move at the exact moment."That move he'd planned: to jump the guy who'd been with his (Bob's) girl. He was all set to do it, but "Suddenly, two vice-like meaty hands grabbed him from behind by the shoulders and literally stopped Bob's forward motion in mid-air. 'We don't do that in AA,' the familiar froggy voice whispered in his ear. Bob's head whipped around, and he was nose-to-nose with J.R., his sponsor."
J.R. helped him get out of that situation, not get revenge, and not go back to jail.  And the fact that that story was shared by his friend decades later, in this book, says something, I believe, about Bob's humility!

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic



Long-Timers Stories 4-21

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, terrifically, delightfully sober to share, 4/21: Bob B reached 50 years of sobriety a little while back! In a number of his talks I've been fortunate to hear, he shared about getting into a dangerously shaky place around 8 years of sobriety, and needing to go through the Steps again.

One of the things he discovered that time, I believe in his 4th Step, was fear, in a way he hadn't seen it before. He discovered that he had a fear of failure, and also that he had a fear of success. (wish I could refind the talk or talks where he shared that part, but I seem to remember that he did) He later said that it was the most important 4th Step he'd done, and also that, before that, he had needed to rework Steps 1-3.

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-22

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, beautifully, terrifically sober to share, 4/22:

Gary B reached at least 54 years of sobriety! In a 2010 talk, he shared about his experience with the 4th Step. He started with the first time he'd taken it, a little ways into sobriety: " . . . I opened the Big Book, and we hadn't really done much with it yet. And . . . I wrote all night that night. And I can't tell you what I found in it. I can tell you I only knew to do three columns and then guess at the stuff on the next page over, that later became the fourth column. But as inventories go, it really sucked. As inventories go, all it did was save my ass."

Later, that changed: "I wrote another inventory, and it was a good one. And I've probably written forty inventories over the years now, and some of them much better than others." And one of them, maybe especially important, happened when he was 20 years sober, at a bottom, with his life, sober, in a tough spot; he redid Steps 1-3, then started writing, and this is some of what he found: "I think I had more pages of resentment than I had ever had in a single inventory before, and it was all current stuff--I wasn't rewriting old resentments"; "and I went through the fear inventory, and it was bigger than I think any of my previous ones had ever been. And then I went back through my life on my conduct inventory, and I looked at that carefully, and I tried to remember everybody involved, and I tried to ask myself the nine questions around the sex inventory, with each one."

With that 4th Step, at 20 years sober, he said, "it was the first time I ever think that I had a description of what was going on with my self-esteem."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-23

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, beautifully, delightfully sober to share, 4/23:

Guil M reached 51 years of sobriety this year! In 2019, I got to ask him about the 4th Step, I hope I'm remembering what he told me right; it was great. Pretty sure he said that he had done one, then used the 10th Step since then. But also, he said, if a specific situation came up that he needed to address, he would write an inventory on it. And, he said, he's sponsored a lot of people over the years, and going over the 4th Step with them, he's ended up thinking about his own inventory, too. There might be a better way to do it, he said, but that approach, for him, is "working so far."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-24

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, terrifically, delightfully sober to share, 4/24: Ginny G reached at least 57 years of sobriety!
In her story "D.O.S.: February 4, 1947" (April 2005 Grapevine, accessed in the story archive at aagrapevine.org), she shared what happened after she found a concept of God that would help her-- "It wasn't easy, but it was a challenge and each meeting gave me courage and strength to go forward. One thing I had to learn was to love my fellow man and myself. I had to learn confidence in myself as a loving, kind, intelligent, and forgiving person. Most of all, I had to forgive myself.

As I went along, I began to see and use my assets, work to destroy my liabilities, take a good, hard inventory, face up to my responsibilities, pay my bills, work with the honesty of the program, and be grateful for every blessing. By now I had enough courage and I began to feel strong and confident that I could live with myself and enjoy myself. No more guilt! Now I recognized the effect of a loving, kind God who was bringing me into a new life of humility and gratitude. I found myself happy! That was fifty-seven years ago and today I have the eternal now of moment by moment and step by step, to enjoy."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic






Long-Timers Stories 4-25

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/25:

Tom H reached at least 55 years of sobriety! In "Full Circle," the article he wrote for the Grapevine (published in August 2009, now in the Old-Timers Corner section of the Story Archive, aagrapevine.org), he shared this-- "I'm 83 now and I have not had to take a drink of alcohol or any other mind-altering substance for 55 years. I've had to deal with a head full of negative and fearful stuff and my recovery was long and painful at times. I still had anxiety attacks and guilt and remorse, but I stayed sober."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-26

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, beautifully, terrifically sober to share, 4/26: Otto W reached at least 50 years of sobriety! During that time, he went through relationship changes that he shared about in "1000 Years of Sobriety": "I got sober in August 1959, and at Christmas of the same year, I met my first wife, Sandy. She was a nonalcoholic neighbor of one of the guys in the Compton group [where Otto attended and saw Chuck C speak]. She was divorced and had a lovely two-year-old daughter named Terry. We dated for a year, then married, and I adopted Terry when she was four. In 1965, our son Jody was born. In 1970, a neighboring family with seven children broke up as a direct result of alcohol and drugs. One of the boys, Tony, was a close friend of our Jody and was always at our home. So we decided to keep him.

By 1975, our marriage began to deteriorate. Without going into the reasons, we decided to separate and then divorce before harsh words and even harsher feelings developed over our relationship. As a result of being kind and civil to each other, I maintain a close relationship with my children to this day. The principles of AA helped me to accomplish this. In 1984 I met Mary Ann at a meeting during a conversation with a group of people about Gooey Ducks. I was attracted by her laughter and sense of humor. We became friends and saw each other at meetings, and at the meetings after the meetings, for about a year. Sober three years when we met, she was divorced and had three sons. We began dating in 1985 and married in 1986 in the backyard of our home by a judge who was sober in AA.

Between the two of us, we now have five children, fourteen grandchildren, and five great grandsons. We live in a beautiful home in a nice area with wonderful neighbors. All our children and grandchildren are in our lives--lives that have been truly blessed by a loving Higher Power through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-27

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, delightfully, terrifically sober to share, 4/27:

Liz B reached at least 63 years of sobriety! In a talk she gave at around 42 years, she shared about staying sober through relationship challenges, with her husband-- "Mr. [B.] couldn't stand me sober. Mr. [B.] took my first ten years, and I mean he worked overtime, to get me back into the streets of New York. But thank God you didn't tell me to get sober for Mr. [B.]. 32 years ago, I had the privilege of speaking for our late cofounder Bill [W.] at the Hotel Commodore, to 2700 people that night.

Mr. [B.] shook my hand and said I did a good job, but when we arrived back at the house, he banged and he screamed that he had to get rid of me, that he couldn't stand me and this sobriety another minute. And I used the 3rd and the 11th Step prayer at 3 o'clock in the morning, and God spoke to me like I'm speaking to you: if I pick up one drink, I don't have Liz. When I pick up one drink, I don't have Mr. [B.], and I didn't have him anyway. And when I pick up one drink, I'm not in that house. See, my friends take a drink and go home. I take a drink, I leave home. See, I don't stay. I know me. I know me. Know me very good. And there again, I went back eight years ago to take care of Mr. [B.] in his last days, because, I want to tell you something, many years I've stood on these platforms and told you how much I loved him. I really did love him. You know why? He kept the house while I was in the street. He kept the three children going while I was in the street. He kept everything going. He could have cashed it all in. But you know what, girls? I'm back in that home today. What's so nice: it's paid for.

But I was so happy that I could go and make his last days happy."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-28

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, beautifully, terrifically sober to share, 4/28:

Keith H reached 54 years of sobriety before he passed! When he spoke maybe 10 years before that, at Joy P's 60 year sobriety anniversary celebration, he shared these words about his marriage--"My wife passed away 6 years ago, and you know, we had a great, great life together. We had a great life together because of Alcoholics Anonymous."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-29

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, terrifically, beautifully sober to share, 4/29:

Cis G, by the time she passed this year, had been sober at least 65 years! In the talk that she gave at her 65 year celebration, she shared about relationship challenges and changes that she had gone through in sobriety. One was with the man who became her husband. She had seen him at a meeting, told a friend she was going to marry him, then did. They had a marriage made in heaven. "Of course," she said, "when you have perfection, it doesn't always last." One day, he said he needed to go to the hospital, and, Cis said, "he died." In that talk, she also shared that, maybe a month ago, her daughter Jamie, after a night of "heavy drinking," had gotten into a car accident and died. She hadn't been sure about speaking so soon after her daughter's death--wondering if she could keep it together--but another AA member, who was there, told her "I'll help you."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic




Long-Timers Stories 4-30

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Grateful for your part in my sobriety today!

Long timer story it helps this alcoholic stay wonderfully, terrifically, delightfully sober to share, 4/30:The writer of "Soldier On," in the July 2010 Grapevine (accessed in the Old-Timers Corner of the Story Archive, on the web site), reached at least 55 years of sobriety! ". . . Dec. 27, 1954, the date of my last drink. I have not had a drink since. I believe that I surrendered within a week or 10 days, for the pull of alcohol never bothered me again. In that article, he shared this--But my unmanageable life--that is, my grossly unmanageable life--continued on its not so merry way for most of the rest of my life. I eventually was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder dating from November 1950. My general practitioner was ex-military, and I guess he saw the signs of it. My coping skills were pretty much non-existent. I had no self-respect, and it has been said that a person with little or no self-respect is unlikely to have much respect for others. Much of that has changed, I am very glad to say. AA made this happen for me. It could not have happened otherwise.

It was not so much about war stuff, but it centered on the horrors of a train wreck my regiment was in. Seventeen men died in that catastrophe and about 40 were injured, some seriously. All the years since the accident, I had not been able to talk about it. I kept trying to suppress the painful memories of that awful day. But the memory would not go away. My kids do not know about this. I've been seeing a clinical psychologist every two weeks for just over three years. My recovering is going very well indeed."

Love and service, Chaddeus, Alcoholic