Tolerance in recovery
Tolerance in Recovery
April 1, 2022
life purpose
A Life of Principles and Purpose
April 1, 2022
The following article was referenced in the March 2022 Central Bulletin in an article titled “The Rite of Writing” by the same author. It was originally printed in the March 1988 edition of Central Bulletin (Vol. 46 #6).

On a dreary day two years ago, I was in downtown Detroit handling some very unpleasant personal business. My plans and expectations had suddenly dissolved in the worst possible manner, leaving me despondent and alone—and when I’m alone, I’m in bad company! I wanted to escape in any manner possible.

I unpacked my luggage at a local motel and discovered that I hadn’t packed a toothbrush, of all things. I asked the desk clerk for directions to the nearest drugstore.

When I arrived, I suddenly discovered something I didn’t know about Michigan drugstores—they sell liquor. I found myself staring at a wall of old friends. Rows of colored glass bottles had become friends in my drinking. At the end of my drinking, they were my only friends.

A thought occurred to me. Who’s to know? I wouldn’t meet anyone I knew for a couple of days. Wouldn’t a little drunk help me through this time? I wouldn’t have to tell anyone. Would a fifth be enough, or would I need a half-gallon?

I didn’t have long to think. There was a disturbance right next to me. A teenager was arguing with a pharmacist that his grandmother really needed to refill her prescription for a drug long before it was due. I was familiar with the drug. It was something I’d used as “solid alcohol” when the liquid stuff was unavailable. The pharmacist knew what was going on and refused to do it. I knew, too.

I bought the first toothbrush I could grab and raced back to the motel. I redoubled my efforts to get to Detroit AA meetings. I called my sponsor. I read the Big Book. I prayed. And I stayed sober!

Who’s to know? That face staring back at me when I brush my teeth would know. That Power greater than myself that crossed my path with the teenager would also know. Who matters more?

By Bob M., Community Sunday

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.