Mercifully, no one would guess that I was to have no real employment for five years, or hardly draw a sober breath. ~ Bill W., pg 4.
The original AA’s were mostly bottom of the barrel, hopeless drunks. They must have gone through hell. They had no AA to depend upon, no old timers to show them the way, and society as a whole saw them as mental defects, or hopeless cases that needed to be locked away. I relate more to Dr. Bob, in that he held a job throughout his drinking career. I call that being a “functional alcoholic.” We are no better or in less pain than those who are unemployable or homeless. We found our bottoms sooner. I just think that in at least my case, I just had a lower pain threshold than others. I worked throughout my drinking days. I usually would drink at breaks, after hours, and before hand. As I have said before, drinking and driving, or drinking and working, etc. were just considered “normal” in our town. No one saw it as bad or wrong. We were expected to suit up and show up on time; every time. No excuses. The vast majority of the work force were drunk on duty. I would not recommend it, but that is what was expected.
Things have changed a great deal since then. These days, most employers require urine tests and/or blood tests as a condition of employment. Drinking on the job is frowned upon. The cops/courts fine heavily for drinking while driving. Jail time for repeat offenders is a reality. This has resulted in alcoholics finding their proverbial bottoms faster. There are greater consequences. That is not a bad thing. These days, we find alcoholics coming into AA for the solutions in their teens and 20’s. I think that is a good thing. They have a whole lifetime ahead of themselves to enjoy a life of being happy, joyous, and free. Think of all they can contribute to society as a result of finding sobriety sooner. Mercifully, AA has given us the solution.