Bob O

Authors of the Stories from the Book

Biography: "The Salesman." 

Bob O., Richfield (Akron), Ohio.
(OM, p. 317 in 1st edition.)

Bob entered the program in December of 1936, but after six months had a slip. He stopped drinking again in May 1937.

His teenage years were uneventful. He was raised on a farm but wanted to be a businessman, so he took a business college course. His first business was buying produce from the family farm and selling it to customers in the city. The business theory he had learned in college helped him to become successful and he soon expanded his business. But in 1921, during an economic slump, he was wiped out. With more time on his hands, his drinking increased.

He worked at a variety of jobs from then on, but most often as a salesman - a career at which he was very good.

He started drinking during Prohibition, and it soon became a habit.

Bob at one time brewed beer at home. He tells how, when a fire threatened to destroy his home, he rushed to the cellar and rescued a keg of wine and all the beer he could carry. He became indignant when his wife suggested that he had better get some of the needed effects out of the house before it burned down.

He lost jobs and his home, and car accident once put him in the hospital. When he got out of the hospital he stayed sober for six weeks and had made up his mind to quit, but returned to the same pattern.

His marriage deteriorated and his wife divorced him. He had no friends left. His mother tried to help and sent clergymen to talk to him. When his mother heard about Dr. Bob she persuaded him to go with her to see him.

Dr. Bob suggested he be hospitalized for a short time, but he refused. He did agree, however, to go to a meeting. He was as good as his word, and met the small group. He liked the informality of the meeting, but the meeting did not impress him. However, he saw men he had known as drinkers apparently staying sober.

It was another six months, after a binge, before, in a maudlin and helpless state, he made his way back to see Dr. Bob.

There was no over night change, in Bob, but he began to enjoy the meetings, and to exchange the drinking habit for something that has helped him in every way. Every morning he read a part of the Bible and asked God to carry him through the day safely. It also helped that Dr. Bob immediately put him to work helping another alcoholic who was hospitalized. All he had to do was tell his story to the new man.

He reunited with his wife, began making good in business and paying off his debts. His former friends and employers were amazed.

He was sober several years when he wrote his story, kept that way, he explained, by submitting his natural will to a Higher Power. He did that on a daily basis.


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