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The Prescription
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..."His Master Demanded To Be Fed!"...
Can You Identify??

He could not remember the last time he had slept peacefully throughout an entire night like a normal person. But by no stretch of the imagination could he be considered a normal person anymore, for he now lived in a world that was going to ruins just as fast as he, and others like himself, could arrange it.

He had lived the alcoholic life for such a long period of time that a state of complacency had been achieved; and this was reflected in his attitude and outlook upon life. He was a man who shunned all societal mores, for he had sunken to the lowest level of human existence. It was an existence where dog-eat-dog ruled the day.

Even the manner in which he was awakened each morning was not like that of a normal person. His awakening, if the truth be told, was more of a revival than anything else. It would be signaled by a very slow ascent from an alcohol induced coma that had given him a brief respite from a life that was just barely north of total insanity. He would move through different levels of a stygian abyss, pausing periodically to acclimatize himself like a diver does to avoid the bends. At each pause of his ascension he would strain to make contact with something tangible, anything familiar with which he could grasp. But as always, there would be absolutely nothing. And he would continue the journey.

Pain would beset him, and he would immediately realize that the effects of what he had consumed the night before had worn off and that he was nearing the end of his ascent. His body would begin to shake like a rag doll gripped in the teeth of an angry pit bull. He would begin to sweat profusely and itch terribly in places that he could not scratch. And when he would finally pop to the surface of the void in which he had come through, he would be reluctant to open his eyes from fear of where he would find himself.

He flinched, clinching his teeth tightly against the nerve racking grating of tree branches on metal; and he knew that he had spent another night in the utility shed that sat in an overgrown field behind the abandoned house on Green Street.

The repugnant, yet familiar, scent of field mice was strong, and he could hear the rodents as they scurried about, squeaking and fighting over scraps of food that had been discarded by former occupants. The acrid stench of urine cut through the frigid air like a sharp knife, and the musty odor of mildew exuded from the old quilts with which he covered himself.

His tongue felt thick and fuzzy like it was sheathed in an old sweat sock, and his upper front teeth had the gritty feel of fine sandpaper. The back of his throat was raw, like a fresh burn, and his stomach, hot and feverish, churned and made rumbling noises like an awakening volcano.

He knew it could be no later than three-thirty or four in the morning, because he remembered looking at the clock on his last trip to the convenience store; and it had been eleven o'clock. And his master always roused him every three and a half to four hours.

He kept his eyes closed, hoping against hope to stave off reality for a few minutes longer, for he dreaded having to face that which he knew awaited him.

His nerves began gyrating like go-go dancers, wringing useless his instinctual responses of fight or flight. But there was no one left to fight and no place left to run. His tormentor and house of torment were one in the same. His wheezing breath rattled in his chest like a small pebble in a tin can. He started coughing uncontrollably, spitting out globs of yellow phlegm into the cold darkness.

He was fully clothed, which was how he retired each night, balled into the fetal position with his hands tucked tightly between his thighs. His lips quivered and his body continued to shake. But it was not the weather that caused him to shake, for he was well covered with quilts he had stolen from another homeless individual. He shook because his master demanded to be fed. And if his master's whims were not met in a timely fashion, his master would go into a rage and shake him into a seizure for failure to carry out his duties.....

He was laying on his right side with the covers pulled up over his head, and when he rolled onto his back, his lips suddenly stopped quivering, his body no longer shook and his stomach ceased rumbling. He smiled and sat up quickly. His mouth was no longer hot or dry, and his master released him. It was feeding time.

Between his thighs his hands were wrapped tightly around the extra bottle of cheap wine he had purchased on his last trip to the convenience store; and he could not have been happier if he owned the horse that won the Triple Crown or had been the big winner in the ten million dollar lottery.

He fumbled franticly with the bottle's cap before he succeeded in getting it off. He took a long swallow and retched so violently that it felt as if he had ruptured the walls of his stomach.

His eyes watered and his nose began to run, and he gulped mouthfuls of foul air in a desperate attempt to keep the precious liquid down. He shook his head involuntarily and saliva flew from the corner of his mouth as he gasped for air like a fish out of water.

It seemed an eternity had passed before his stomach settled and he could breathe normal again. Tears rolled down his dirty cheeks, and the pain of what he had allowed himself to become fell upon him like a heavy shroud. He wiped his nose on the back of his hand and inadvertently uttered the most serious prayer he had prayed in his entire life. He sent up his prayer to the god he had divorced so many years ago.

"Oh, God! Oh, God!" he sent forth. "Please help me!"

His God heard him and sent him to Alcoholics Anonymous.
And he rose from the smouldering tatters of ruin and terror to live again.

I have been there, done that, and I know many of you have too!! But for the Grace of God and the 12 Step recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous we could still be there. Today, , it has been since the story above was mine, when God heard my prayer and sent me to Alcoholics Anonymous, February 28, 1974.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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