My Eskimo was a massage therapist named Bill S. Thirty plus years ago, Bill came to my home weekly to iron out the kinks in my super stressed-out body. Bill came over at 5, just as I arrived home from the office. Sometimes he had to wait a few minutes while I gulped down a couple of quick scotches - to get relaxed enough to be massaged!
I was at the top of my career and had recently married a beautiful actress. Bill wasn’t at all like my friends at the golf club. Yet there was something about him I was drawn to. I know today that Bill had spirit working in his life.
As he worked on me, he told me his story. Just seven years earlier he had been an alcoholic/drug addict living on the streets. Now he was married to a professional manager, had a nice car and owned a home. “What did you do to change?” I asked. “I sobered up in AA,” he said. And went on to talk about his experiences.
I acted interested, but I really wasn’t. Quit drinking? Me? No way. But the next week he brought me a Big Book. I skimmed the first 164 pages and a few of the stories in the back, then promptly gave it to a friend who really needed it.
Fast forward a few months. The big-pay job was gone and my marriage was breaking up. Unable to take any responsibility, I blamed alcohol. I decided to quit drinking as an experiment. Next time Bill came over, I told him I wasn’t drinking. “Do you want to go to a meeting?” He asked. I wasn’t sure. “Is there anything besides AA? “Well some folks go to Adult Children of Alcoholics, he said. What’s that? I asked. “in AA you have to admit you are an alcoholic and you can’t drink. In ACA all you have to do is admit your father was an alcoholic and you can drink all you want, he said.
I went to ACA for a few months and even half-assed worked the first few steps. I stayed sober for thirteen months and my life started to improve, but soon I went back to being large and in charge and picked up a glass of wine without a second thought. That one glass of wine began a four year deep decent into what I hope was my final bottom. Thanks to Bill, when I hit that bottom I knew exactly where to go.