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I have been very troubled by “true Confession” (POV, March/April). I was an active alcoholic when entering Brown in 1951, and was fortunate to survive my addiction for another fourteen years before joining AA.

Like Kent Roberts ’00, I was either atheistic or agnostic at the time I joined. Fortunately for me and my loved ones, I gritted my teeth and bore with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer following meetings. I have since gotten over my omnipotent attitude and accept that there is a power greater than myself in the world, though I have not become religious.

I say honestly that AA saved my life, in fact made it possible for me to have a life! My family has recovered from the insanity of those years, and I am blessed to have their love and attention. I did some of the same things that Kent Roberts describes in his confession. I was lucky to survive, and I pray that he does.

Very few of us are strong enough, or wise enough, to control addiction without help. I know of more deaths than recoveries among those who try to do it alone. I have been successfully sober for forty-four-and-a-half years now, and I am as grateful today for AA and the important support I received from new friends as I was when I was newly sober. It is my hope that Kent Roberts is able to surrender his self-will before it kills him. Maybe he could be as lucky as I am and rekindle a good life between himself and his family.

Bob W. ’55
Englewood, Fla.

The author asked that his full last name be withheld from publication.

Comments (1)
I greatly appreciate this note! I have been sober now for almost 1 year (Jan. 1 is my anniversary date). I did not use AA but instead made a commitment to my parents that if I ever drink again, I will go immediately to rehab. So essentially a zero-tolerance policy. It seems to be working! I have one friend who has gone almost 6 years without a drink and attends AA to this day 2 or 3 times a week. So I know that works too, and is even maybe preferable for most people. But I'm certainly glad I found something that works for me. And I can't say how humbled and appreciative I am at all the compassion shown by Brown alums. I know this is an intense and emotional issue for many. Thank you!
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